With road, MTB and BMX races now completed at the Tokyo Olympics, we have turned our attention to track cycling at the 250-meter-long Izu velodrome.
Tokyo’s cycling program is dominated by track races: Of the 22 bike races, 12 are on the track. In total, a whole week of velodrome races is on offer, from Monday 2 August to Sunday 8 August.
If you are unfamiliar with track racing, it can be difficult for you to find your way around all the different related disciplines. Perhaps the following guide will help you. First, it is important to note that track cycling is divided into two categories: sprint races and endurance races.
Sprint events require a short firepower and are always tactical, requiring a large concentration on the location. They are more likely to compete with larger, more muscular riders.
Endurance events are higher and require constant effort. Riders who race on the road and track – such as Mark Cavendish, Elia Viviani or Kirsten Wild – are often better suited for endurance racing.
These are the three sprint races that take place at the Tokyo Olympics, all of which are men’s and women’s competitions.
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Also known as a “racing sprint”, a sprint is a one-on-one format with two riders starting at the same point on the track. While the race was at 750 meters, only the last 200 meters were measured. Early laps are usually driven at low speed, riders sometimes stop when they fight for a position and try to force their opponents forward (worst area). The first rider to cross the finish line wins.
A total of 30 riders will start the competition, who will start the time trial with a flying start of 200 meters to catch the 24 fastest riders. This will be followed by five rounds of one-on-one races to reduce the field from 24 to 16 to 12 to eight to four and finally to two in the finals. Between laps 24, 16, 12 and 8, a total of three “correction” laps will take place so that lower riders have a second chance to advance to the league.
The best two of the three matches are played for all quarterfinals and semi-finals, including the final. Men’s World Record: 9,100 (Nicholas Paul, Cochabamba, Bolivia, 2019)
Women’s World Record: 10,154 (Kelsey Mitchell, Cochabamba, Bolivia, 2019)
Team sprinting is not a conventional sprint – it is actually more than a team race. The men’s race has teams of three riders and competes in three laps, while the women’s race has two teams of riders and is run on two laps.
In each race, one team will compete with the other, with one team on each side of the track. Each rider sits one lap forward before the break, so the team gets a small rider after each lap. Only one team rider is needed to complete the race. The winner is the team that completes the required number of rounds first.
The men’s competition is expected to have eight teams of three, while the women will have eight teams of two.
All teams place time in the qualifying round, with the teams competing against each other in the first round based on stakes (ie first against the eighth, second against the seventh, etc.). The winners of the four races advance to the medal round, and the two slowest teams competing for bronze.
While more power is important, technique is also key in this race, as riders must immediately jump from scratch, enter a tight and effective formation quickly, and race as close together as possible to maximize it. There was no waste of energy and the changes were carefully examined by the commissioners, so there was a slight error. Men’s World Record: 41,225 (Netherlands, Berlin, Germany, 2020)
Women’s World Record: 31,928 (China, Olympic Games, Brazil, 2016)
The popular gambling game originating in Japan, keirin, is one of the most famous events on the track. The first 750 m on the sprint engine (derny) will be attended by three to six riders in a three-wheel sprint (750 meters) in the slip stream. The engine gradually accelerates to a speed of 30 to 50 km / h before accelerating and letting the sprinters race.
The position behind the derny is the most important – after the first round of the derny, the riders exchange positions together to gain an advantage over their opponents as the speed of the derny increases. Three laps before the end of the day, she left the track and continued the sprint. With a finish speed of up to 70 km / h, the riders will fight to be first in line.
Thirty riders will start for women as well as men.
Keirin is fought in four stages. In the 1st round, the two best advance in each of the five races to the 2nd round. The remaining riders go to the “repechage”, where they have a second chance to enter the second round. In the second round, there will be three races, of which the first four will advance to the semifinals. The semifinals will have two races out of six, with the first three of each advancing to Final A (medals) and the last three of each advancing to Final B (7-12).
Three endurance races were also held in Tokyo. Like sprint races, men and women fight.
Watch the group
In a team chase, two teams of four riders on opposite sides of the track start and race against each other to complete the first 4 km. When one team catches the other at the end, the race is there and there.
The riders follow each other in close formation, each alternately in front. When the leading rider has completed his turn, they go forward, lift the track and then go with the team in the back.
Team time is taken away from the third rider, who crosses the finish line, so it’s up to the rider to make a longer “deadly move” to the end and bury himself so that he can’t continue in the group loop afterwards. . This allowed the remaining three riders to recover briefly from their partner’s slip before making the final acceleration to the finish. Eight four-member teams will compete in women and men. These competitions begin with a qualifying round, where each team determines the time to sow. In the first round, the four best teams will compete against each other (first against the fourth, second against the third) and the four lower teams will compete against each other.
The winners of the top class races will continue to fight for the final gold medal. The deployment for the remaining finals (bronze / fourth place; fifth / sixth; seventh / eighth) is determined by the team time from the first round. Men’s World Record: 3: 44 672 (Denmark, World Cup, Berlin, 2020)
Women’s World Record: 4: 10 236 (Great Britain, Olympic Games, Brazil, 2016)
Madison, named next to Madison Square Garden in New York City, where the event first took place – and French for “La course à l’américaine” – is madison probably the most exciting and also confusing event on track bikes.
Two equestrian teams competed in a mass start and covered more than 50 km (200 laps) for men and 30 km (120 laps) for women. Only one rider from each team with simultaneous races. Team members work together during and outside the race; resting riders circling over the top of the bench.
Points are awarded for sprints every 10 rounds, in which the four best teams receive five, three, two and one point each. These points will double in the final sprint. Teams that win a round in the main group get 20 points, while teams that lose a round get 20 points. The team that finishes with the highest number of points wins.
The best Madison teams have a rider with good endurance who can push for a long time to ride a bike and a sprint specialist who can earn points for the sprint or suddenly try to rest. For example, Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish became world champions twice at the event, in 2008 and also in 2016. Madison did not host the 2012 Olympic Games, which was a men’s event. Tokyo hosts the first Olympic Games in Madison for women.
Omnium is a multi-race event. In the case of Tokyo, the omnium consists of four different mass starts on the same day (six Olympic events in Rio). The four events are:
Scratch race: All riders start with the goal of being first at the top of the line. It was more than 10 km for men and 7.5 km for women.
Pace Race: Riders collect points by winning sprints or riding bikes. With the exception of the first five laps, a continuous sprint takes place every lap in which the first rider of each sprint is awarded one point. Riders can also gain 20 points for hitting the main field, and each rider caught in the main peloton will lose 20 points. They raced over 7.5 km for women and 10 km for men.
Elimination Race: The final rider is eliminated after every second round until only the winner remains.
Points Race: Points are awarded in a continuous sprint every 10 rounds, with five points for first place, three for second, two for third and one for fourth. In the final sprint, the score doubled. The rider who hits the field gains 20 points, while the rider who hits the field loses 20 points. This discipline runs over 25 km for men and 20 km for women.
The winner of each of the first three races – the scratch race, the elimination race and the tempo race – will receive 40 points, the second place 38 points, the third place 36 points and so on. The last activity is a scoring race, where the riders start with the points they have collected from the first three activities. Their sum will increase or decrease depending on their performance in the scoring race.
The winner is the rider with the highest number of points after four races. The Omnium winner is probably not a specialist at any of these events, but jack-of-all-traves. When the races are over
Want to know when you can see a specific event on the track? A complete schedule of cycling events at the Tokyo Olympics can be found at this link. Alternatively, here is a list of medal events that take place every day and at what time, Tokyo time (GMT +9):
Monday, August 2
18:06: Women’s Team Sprint (Bronze Race)
18:09: Women’s Team Sprint (Gold Race)
Tuesday, August 3
17:19: Women’s Team Pursuit (Bronze)
17:26: Women’s Team Pursuit (Gold)
17:41: Team Sprint Men (Bronze)
17:44: Team Sprint Men (Gold)
Wednesday, August 4
17:59: Team Pursuit (Bronze)
18:06: Men’s Team Pursuit (Gold)
Thursday, August 5
17:45: Keirin to the girls
17:55: Men’s Omnium Scoring Race (last of four)
Friday, August 6
17:15: Madison Finals for Women
18:35: Men’s Sprint Finals – Race 2
18:50: Men’s Sprint Final – Desider
Saturday, August 7
16:55: Madison finals for men
Sunday, August 8
11:45: Women’s Sprint Finals – Race 2
12:00: Keirin Men’s Final
12:05: Women’s Sprint Finals – Desider
12:25: Omnium Women’s Scoring Race (last of four)
Take a look at the notes
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking:
Early reports said the Tokyo velodrome was very fast. Australian fighter driver Luke Plapp told CyclingTips: “It’s very fast here! I’m looking forward to some seasons that won’t last long! Conditions are crazy!” Expect new world records in the persecution of men and women. The women’s team, which has only been advancing at the 2012 Olympic Games and the UK since London, has won two gold medals since then. Team USA, led by Chloe Dygert, is the reigning world champion. The British men’s fighter team has won the last three Olympic gold medals. However, Denmark rose from Rio as one of the teams to lose, as did New Zealand and Italy at the helm of Filip Ganna. The pursuit of the Australian men’s teams was shaken after fifth place at Track Worlds 2020 (Denmark won for New Zealand, France and Italy). The Australian team is desperately trying to stand up and improve on the silver medal they won in Rio. Rio’s world record in the prosecution of men has been broken five times. Twice in Australia (2018 and 2019) and then three times in two days in Denmark (at Track Worlds 2020). Their fastest attempt was two seconds faster than their previous best. Laura Kenny (UK) is a two-time Omni Olympic winner and one of the event’s favorites. Perhaps his biggest rival is the reigning world champion Yumi Kajihara (Japan). Roadster Elia Viviani (Italy) is the reigning Olympic men’s winner.
Benjamin Thomas from France (also a road racer) is the reigning world champion. Jason Kenny of Great Britain (Laura’s husband) has been on the sprint team, which has won a gold medal in the last three Olympics. He also won the last two gold medals in the individual sprint. Kenny is currently divided as the athlete with the highest number of Olympic gold medals of all British athletes (six along with Chris Hoy). He has a great opportunity to set a new record in Tokyo. Dutch couple Kirsten Wild and Amy Pieters start as favorites at the first women’s Madison Olympics. They won the last two world titles and won silver last year. Among the madison men were favorites Michael Mørkøv from Denmark (from the girl Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Lasse Norman Hansen. They are the reigning world champions.