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Track cycling: everything you need to know about the sport

Track cycling has always been an Olympic sport.

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Track cycling: everything you need to know about the sport

Track cycling has always been an Olympic sport. Since the Athens Games in 1896 the event has always been held during the summers except for those of Stockholm in 1912. Since it has been an essential event of the Olympic Games, track cycling has continued to 'evolve.

With several races during this week of competition, the events were not always fixed. Women were only invited to compete in this discipline in 1988 during the Seoul Games. This year the 6 races on the program will be individual speed, team speed, team pursuit, American race, Keirin and Omnium.

Among the stars of the velodrome we can count the Italian Filippo Ganna, the Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen, Olympic champion in individual and team speed and the British Ethan Hayter, silver medalist in the American race and double world champion in the team pursuit.

The British Laura Kenny, five-time Olympic champion and seven-time world champion in endurance events.

Mathilde Gros, French, is showing all her precocity and hopes to win a first Olympic medal after winning her first world speed championship in 2022.

Lotte Kopecky is a road and track runner. Comfortable on both surfaces, the Belgian notably won several gold medals during the last world championships in American-style, elimination and points races.

Great Britain remains the queen nation in this discipline, notably winning medals in 7 of the 12 events at the last Games.

Individual and team speed races: The cyclists start side by side and must complete three laps of the track, the one who crosses the line first is crowned champion. The competition extends over several days with people eliminated each day, leaving only two for the grand final.

Keirin: This event imported from Japan is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular. This race is contested by 6 riders, who for 3 laps follow a motorcycle which gradually increases its speed from 30 to 50 km/h. After 3 laps, the latter moves away and the riders have 3 laps to decide between themselves.

Team Pursuit: Two teams of 4 riders take a standing start on opposite sides of the track. The runners take turns after 4km in order to overtake their opponent, the first team to overtake the other wins this event. If no one manages to catch up, the 4km time of the third runner is taken into account.

Omnium: this event brings together 4 races (scratch race, tempo race, elimination race and points race) which each earn points. The first wins 40 points, the second 38 and so on. The final event is a 25km points race with sprints every 10 laps.

Madison or American race: This race is an endurance event for two people where the goal is to complete 200 laps of the track, or 50 km in total. Every 10 laps, sprints take place which yield even more points.

The track cycling events will take place from August 5 to 11 in Saint-Quentin. The first events will be team speed events with finals on August 5 and 6. Wednesday 7 will be the day of the team pursuit for both men and women. Thursday August 8 will be held the Omnium event for men and the Keirin for women.

The men's individual speed final as well as the American race for women will take place on the 9th. The Madison event for men will take place on August 10. Finally, on Sunday August 11, the finals of the men's Keirin as well as the individual speed and the Omnium for women will be held.

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