News : Track Cycling Modalities

News :

Track Cycling Modalities

Road, MTB, cross country, cyclocross, gravel, trial…. All this is very good but we often forget that the love for this sport to many cyclists was born in a velodrome. He track cycling It is surely the best way to learn to compete. A specialty that should be mandatory in all cycling schools in the world and that unfortunately in our country is increasingly forgotten.

He track cycling It's history of this sport. It is tradition, it is adrenaline and above all it is tactical and cold blooded. To be "pistard" not everyone is worth it and if on the road exhibitions and heaters are paid expensive here they are unrecoverable. The track is a real learning school that went through great cyclists in history like Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas, Mark Cavendish, Elia Viviani, Fernando Gaviria or the Yates brothers.

The track cycling calendar is getting shorter and unfortunately few cities and federations invest in the maintenance of velodromes.

What is track cycling?

Track cycling is a modality that is disputed in a 250 meter perimeter velodrome and that is characterized by developing with fixed-gear bicycles. The fixie as this type of bicycle is known they have no brakes and the only system to reduce speed is the pedal system. Hence the velodrome is cant and allow us to increase and reduce speed quickly. Bicycles also do not have gears so they work with a single plate and pinion. The developments of track cycling bicycles tend to be quite large (52 × 16, 53 × 16, 51 × 13…) and bicycle designs are increasingly aggressive and aerodynamic.

The velodrome can be both interior and exterior, although the best competitions in the world take place in closed pavilions.

mark cavendish track cycling
Mark Cavendish, another of the great names that has triumphed on the road and on the track

Track Cycling Modalities

Although one can go to the velodrome to his ball and roll without any obligation, cycling on the track is usually quite competitive and is that The adrenaline, emotion and speed with which things happen generate a very addictive combo. Currently there are many modalities of cycling on the track and although some are familiar, I imagine that some will surprise you.

Individual chase

Test in which two runners face each other from opposite points of the velodrome. The two runners face each other over a certain distance that men tend to be 4 kilometers The exit is made in stopped and the one who invests less time in traveling the 4000 meters wins. If before any cyclist is able to reach and exceed his rival the test will also be terminated. The test is very attractive at the television level and specialists are able to finish in just over 4 minutes, which means an average of almost 60 kilometers per hour!

Team Pursuit

Team persecution is the group adaptation of individual persecution. The competition takes place under the same rules with the only difference that there are 4 cyclists who compete in the same team. The official time is given by the third runner and wins the team that needs less time or when the third runner of one team has surpassed the third runner of the other. The best selections clearly fall within 4 minutes.


The score is surely the most spectacular test of all. The race goes by points awarded to the first classified every 10 laps. If a runner manages to win back (doubling the rest of the runners) they are given 20 extra points. The scoring races they tend to be very exciting and is that energy management and the tactics used are key when determining the result. Some cyclists choose to get strong and try to score points at the start of the test while others employ a more conservative tactic guarding the forces for the end. In case of a point draw, the place of the last sprint will be taken into account.


Another test with great appeal to the viewer. In a Keirin test the racing cyclists start spinning in a row behind a pitcher that goes with a motorcycle (derny) at 50 kilometers per hour. The test officially runs over 2.5 laps and the fastest cyclist wins. Keirin's tests are quite dangerous and the friction between cyclists and the fight for position is constant. In 2000 the Keirin was Olympic for the first time.


The Omnium test is a competition in which cyclists have to be competitive in all disciplines since the competition is created as a mix of several totally different tests.

To find a simile with athletics would be similar to decathlon. The number of tests is changing and usually goes from 4 to 6. There are tests of speed, persecution and endurance. The score is usually given in reverse order. The first in each test receives 1 point, the second 2, and the third 3. At the end of the competition the cyclist wins with fewer points.

Individual speed

In individual speed two cyclists face each other where the fastest wins. The test is more than one lap but only the last 200 meters are timed. Individual speed requires extra power and cyclists get to train more hours in the gym than on the bike. The test has left images for the memory like this video in which from minute 3 you can see how the cyclists remain completely still waiting for the movement of the rival.

individual speed track cycling
individual speed one of the most spectacular track cycling competitions

Team Speed

The adaptation of individual speed to the whole. The team speed takes place with teams of 3 cyclists who work for a “leader” or sprinter. Each cyclist is responsible for a different task and their role is strategically studied. It's about catching the maximum speed and protect the last man as much as possible so you can give the last arreón. It is a beautiful, recently created modality in which technique plays a key role.


It is the closest thing to road cycling. The test consists of go around the track with the sole objective of being the first to reach the goal. The number of cyclists participating in a scratch test can vary but never exceed 25 riders. The distance in the male category is usually 15 kilometers and the laps won or lost are taken into account.


The Madison or American test is the one that is done in pairs. Two cyclists who make up the same team and who are taking over with their hands. Madison tests are usually 60 kilometers long and career tactics are essential to achieve good results. The coordination between the two cyclists when it comes to taking over is also very important to avoid falls.

Record time

This modality is not contemplated as such in terms of competition, but in recent years it has recovered interest. The record of the hour as its name indicates is to travel the maximum number of kilometers in 60 minutes. Victor Campenaerts managed to impose a new record of the hour at the velodrome of Aguascalientes (Mexico) earlier this 2019.

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