Have you got your ticket’s yet?
Tickets are now on sale for the Track World Championships at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark from 2-6 March 2016. This event is not to be missed as the best cyclists in the world return to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, battling for the famous rainbow jerseys and the last qualifying points on offer for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.Check out the UCI Web Page for more information.A not to be missed event, tickets are on sale now, with pre access to British Cycling Members, check out your BC dashboard.
Watch out for our V-Sprint Olympian Jess Varnish who will be going for Rainbow and preparing for Rio. As she prepares for her Olympic selection we cannot confirm in which events she will compete at this time, but expect to see her in Sprint, Team Sprint and possibly Keirin events.
Contested over three laps, track sprinting is not just a battle of power and speed but also of wit, intelligence and tactical nous. In the early part of the contest you can expect to see riders slowly circle the track in a game of ‘cat and mouse’, each trying to out-position their rival in order to launch a surprise dash for the line. The race often comes down to the last 50m but you may see some riders choosing to go early – it seemed to work for Sir Chris Hoy!
The competition starts with a qualifying round consisting of a 200m flying start time trial to organise the seeding. From then on, riders will go head to head with the quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals being decided over the best of three rides – it can get quite tense!
Often referred to as ‘the one with the motorbike’, the keirin is one of the most recognisable track events. For the opening laps the riders must stay behind the motorbike (actually called the ‘derny’) which paces the riders with increasing speed. Positioning behind the derny is paramount and riders will try to jostle each other out of position to get an advantage over their rivals. With 2.5 laps to go the derny exits the track and the race is on.
Keirin racing originated in Japan where it became popular as one of the few sports on which it was legal to gamble. The name literally translates as ‘fight’ and when you watch you’ll understand why!
The keirin is contested in rounds with heats and a major (medals) and minor (placing’s) final.
If it’s raw pace that’s your thing then the team sprint is the race for you. Teams of three men or two women race at exhilarating speeds over three or two laps of the track respectively. Each rider completes one lap at the front, sheltering their teammates and enabling them to conserve energy for their turn. Only one rider from the team will complete the race so each rider can hold nothing back on their turn.
Whilst sheer speed is vital, technique is also key in this event as riders must get off the line quickly from a standing start, get rapidly into a tight and efficient formation and race as close together as possible to maximise slipstreaming.
Two teams will race at the same time on the track from opposing sides. All teams will post a time in the qualifying round and from this the medal finals will be determined with the fastest two teams going though to contest gold/silver and the third and fourth fastest going through to race for bronze.