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Published on Feb 24, 2013
Mens Madison Belgium Crash - 2013 UCI World Track Championships
Track cycling dates back to at least 1870 and, with the exception of 1912, has played a part in every Olympics in the modern era. Track Cycling events can be roughly split into 2 disciplines -- Sprinting and Endurance
Sprint Events: Individual Sprint This is a very tactical event in which riders try to outmanoeuvre their opponents. Sometimes riders will come to a standstill in an effort to make their opponent take the lead, which is the least advantageous position before the final sprint to the finish line.
Team Sprint This spectacular form of racing sees two teams start off on opposite sides of the track. It is raced by teams of three riders over three laps for Elite Men and two riders over two laps for Elite Women. Each rider leads for a lap before dropping back.
Kilometre / 500m Time Trial This is an individual time trial from a standing start. Elite Men race over 1km and Elite Women over 500 m. The competitor with the fastest time is the winner.
Keirin Keirin racing originated in Japan. Contested over 2 km, the field of three to seven riders follows a pacing motorbike at an increasing speed, all the while jostling for position. When the motorbike pulls off the track with two and a half laps to go, the battle begins to win the sprint to the finish.
Endurance Events: Individual Pursuit Two riders start on opposite sides of the track and compete over 4 km for Elite Men and 3 km for Elite Women. The winner is the rider who manages to catch his/her opponent or who records the fastest time.
Team Pursuit Two teams of 4 riders (3 riders for women) start on opposite sides of the track and compete over 4 km (3 km for women). The winning team is the one that manages to catch its opponents or that records the fastest time.
Points Race This superbly tactical discipline is contested over a long distance, usually 40 km for men and 25 km for women in major events. The final result is determined according to points gained during sprints (one every 10 laps on a 250 m track) and when a rider manages to lap the rest of the field.
Madison Up to 18 teams of two riders take part in this relay race contested by means of intermediary sprints. While one team member races, the other slows down to take a rest. When he rejoins the race, his teammate throws him into the action with a hand sling. The classification is established according to the distance covered and the points won in the sprints (every 20 laps). The Madison is held over distances of 25-50 km for Elite Men depending on the competition.
Scratch Race This is a race for up to 24 individual riders over 15 km for men and 10 km for women. The first across the finish line is the winner.
Omnium The omnium is made up of 6 events and is disputed over 2 consecutive days. The final classification is established by adding up the finishing places in each event. The winner is the rider who has the lowest total. At the 2012 London Olympics, the omnium comprised a Flying lap, a Points race, an Individual pursuit, a Scratch Race, a Kilometre / 500m time trial and an Elimination Race.