The Keirin is based on the successful Keirin racing which makes cycling the biggest betting sport in Japan. Contested over 8 laps the field of 6 to 8 riders follow the electric powered motor bike at an increasing pace until there are two and a half laps to go.The riders will change position in the string following the motor bike to suit their individual tactics.
As the motor bike pulls off the track the riders begin a turbulent sprint. The stronger riders will launch there effort early whilst others will follow well into the last lap hoping that they are following the right wheel to propel themselves to the line and victory at the last moment.
The classic track event with lots of movement and tactics as the 2 or 3 riders in each race seek to out manoeuvre their opponents over the 3 lap race. Watch the leader slow the race to walking pace on the first lap so that the riders behind him do not have an advantage. Sometimes the riders will both standstill on the track as the leading rider tries to manoeuvre the other to take the lead.
After the slow preliminaries the pace picks up, the rider following has the benefit off surprise if he can time his acceleration from 35km/hour to 70km/hour to gain a few lengths on his opponent.The times for the sprint are given over the last 200 metres which the best sprinters will cover in just over 10 seconds.From the quarter final stage all matches are on a best of three heats basis.
This is the discipline where Britain has excelled with Norman Sheil, Hugh Porter, Tony Doyle, Colin Sturgess, Graeme Obree, Chris Boardman and Bradley Wiggins all holding the mens World Champion title since 1955. For many years Beryl Burton was the supreme woman pursuiter in the world.
The mens event is held over 4 kilometres whilst the women compete over 3 kilometres. The first round will be held on a time trial basis with the best eight riders progressing to the second round. From the quarter final stage the two riders, starting on opposite sides of the track, ride against each other until one rider catches the other or the distance is completed.Briton Bradley Wiggins is the current World Pursuit Champion.
This event is contested by teams of four riders each pursuing the other over 4 kilometres. Watch the precision of the four riders as the leading rider leads for a half lap before swinging up the 38° banking to resume his contribution to the effort at the rear of the string whilst his colleagues keep the pace high. The skilful teams will be following each other only millimetres apart to ensure they maximise the shelter for the riders following the leader before making their own effort.
This race contested over 50 kilometres by teams of two riders shows bike handling skills at their best. With one rider in the race at any time the other team member takes a short rest circling at the top of the track before his team mate throws him back into the race at high speed.
Watch the skill of the riders as the main bunch follows the live wheel whilst changes take place in the line of riders and following riders snake round resting riders.As with the points race there are sprints, in this case every 20 laps, and the teams will also be trying to gain a lap on their opponents in this high speed race. The 50 kilometres will be completed in just over 1 hour.
The points race contested by 24 riders over a distance of 24km for women and 40km for men superbly demonstrates the glittering spectacle and tactics of track racing.
With sprints every 10 laps the pace of the race varies as each sprint approaches. The complete points race rider therefore has the flexibility to adapt to the increases in speed and changes of tactic as the race developes. With 5, 3, 2 and 1 point awarded to the first four riders in each sprint the last 2 laps of each sprint are highly animated as each rider tries to find the best position to make his effort.Despite the points amassed a rider can win the race by gaining a lap on the remainder of the field. At certain times in the race riders either individually or in small groups will try to gain the decisive lap. Watch the main field battle to resist a small group gaining a lap. The final result will therefore be decided first by distance covered followed by points gained.
Kilometre and 500m
Contested over 1 kilometre for men and 500 metres for women the riders take the track one at a time to cover the distance as swiftly as possible.After an all out effort at the start skilful riders will measure their effort so that they do not ‘die’ in the last lap of the lung bursting effort.