Track

Want to watch the best cyclists take on the track at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, Scotland? Here’s everything you need to know about Track.

Dates: 03 - 09 August 2023

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Team Nigeria's Team Sprint in full flow

Overview

The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will be a cauldron of noise, tension and kinetic energy as riders reach warp speeds as they race for a place in the record books.

 

Eleven events will be contested, each of them a unique challenge of power, poise, strategy and stamina.

Riders have to give everything they’ve got for every advantage because fractions of a second will determine who gets to go home a hero.

How it works

You'll see a range of different events at the velodrome, each with their own set of rules and rider tactics. 

Riders go one on one in duels of pure power and gamesmanship. For riders that make the qualification cut, they’ll earn a place in 3 lap knockout heats until only the two strongest riders remain. You’ll see riders come to a standstill, goading their opponent to take the lead - where you don’t want to be until the final sprint. 

Teamwork is everything in this event, raced by trios over 3 laps. Each rider goes all out for a lap before peeling off. When the last rider crosses the finish line, the team has their time.

The rules are simple, but winning this event is anything but. Riders complete a set distance as quick as they can from a standing start. 

Riders follow in the slipstream of a pacing motorbike for 750m which goes faster and faster as the laps fly by. The motorbike, called a "derny", then peels off and the all-out sprint finish begins.

Two riders start on opposite sides of the track. If one catches the other, they win. If nobody catches anyone, the winner is the fastest time over 4km for men or 3km for women.

Two teams of four riders start on opposite sides of the track. If one team catches the other, they win. If nobody catches anyone, the winner is the fastest time over 4km for men or 3km for women.

Men ride 160 laps and women ride 100 in a mix of a sprint and endurance event with a heavy focus on tactical racing. Riders win points on sprint laps which occur every ten laps (5 points for the winner, then 3, 2 and 1) and by lapping the field (20 points). In the final sprint, the points are doubled.   

Teams of two riders take turns to race. It’s a relay race where partners use each other’s momentum via a hand sling. The winning team finishes with the most points accumulated from the sprint laps (5 for the winner, then 3, 2 and 1) and by lapping the field (20 points). In the final sprint, the points are doubled.

A mass start race for solo riders. Men race for 15km, women for 10km. First over the line wins.

Riders test their versatility across four events on the same day: scratch, tempo, elimination and points race. To win it, riders must finish strongly in all four events, rewarding consistency. 

From a rolling start, riders sprint every two laps and the rider that crosses the line last on the sprint lap is eliminated. The field is narrowed as only the strongest sprinters stay cycling.

Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome

Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome,
Emirates Arena,
1000 London Rd,
Glasgow.
G40 3HG.

Current UCI World Champions

2021 Season

Katie Archibald
GBR

Katie Archibald

Women Elite - Omnium

Lisa Brennauer
GER

Lisa Brennauer

Women Elite - Individual Pursuit

Martina Fidanza
ITA

Martina Fidanza

Women Elite - Scratch Race

Lea Sophie Friedrich
GER

Lea Sophie Friedrich

Women Elite - Keirin

Lea Sophie Friedrich
GER

Lea Sophie Friedrich

Women Elite - 500m Time Trial

Emma Hinze
GER

Emma Hinze

Women Elite - Sprint

Lotte Kopecky
BEL

Lotte Kopecky

Women Elite - Points Race

Letizia Paternoster
ITA

Letizia Paternoster

Women Elite - Elimination Race

Team Netherlands
NED

Team Netherlands

Women Elite - Madison

Team Germany
GER

Team Germany

Women Elite - Team Sprint

Team Germany
GER

Team Germany

Women Elite - Team Pursuit

Donavan Grondin
FRA

Donavan Grondin

Men Elite - Scratch Race

Ethan Hayter
GBR

Ethan Hayter

Men Elite - Omnium

Jeffrey Hoogland
NED

Jeffrey Hoogland

Men Elite - 1km Time Trial

Ashton  Lambie
USA

Ashton Lambie

Men Elite - Individual Pursuit

Harrie Lavreysen
NED

Harrie Lavreysen

Men Elite - Sprint

Elia Viviani
ITA

Elia Viviani

Men Elite - Elimination Race

Team Denmark
DEN

Team Denmark

Men Elite - Madison

Team Netherlands
NED

Team Netherlands

Men Elite - Team Sprint

Team Italy
ITA

Team Italy

Men Elite - Team Pursuit

Fun Facts!

  • Track cycling was invented around 1870 and became an Olympic sport in 1896.
  • Riders can’t coast on track bikes and they don’t have brakes. To stop, they have to reduce their cadence and push back on the pedals.
  • There are four markings on the track and these are the same in every velodrome. From the bottom of the track to the top: the light blue “cote d’azur” zone is only for warm-ups or cool-downs; the black line defines the 250m length of the track; the red line (also known as the sprinter’s line) is where most of the racing and overtaking happens; the blue line (also known as the stayer’s lane) is where riders in the Madison event rest. 
  • Modern track bikes are engineered like Formula 1 cars and millions of pounds are spent to find the marginal performance gains that turn milliseconds into medals.

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