Track Racing is to Cycling what 'Track and Field' is to Athletics, with racing for a wide range of riders and body types, from short, timed, solo sprint races to long, high endurance bunch races. Track Cycling is all about speed, technique, tactics and nerve.
Track Cycling is suitable for a wide range of riders. Sprint Athletes tend to be muscular and capable of producing massive power for short distances while Endurance Riders are lighter and more suited to maintaining high speeds over longer distances.
Track Cycling takes places on Indoor and Outdoor oval tracks ranging from less than 200 to over 400 metres in length, with surfaces made from a variety of materials including wood, tarmac, concrete and grass. All tracks, except from grass, are banked to varying degrees to enable riders to maintain high speeds. Olympic Standard venues are indoor 250 metre wooden tracks built to a specific profile.
Grass Track Racing is ideally suited to entry level racing. Events can be organised on any flat field with unused football pitches being an ideal area to set up a track. The track itself can be marked out accurately, enabling times to be compared over a series of events, or simply be laying out a rough oval of markers with a start/finish line.
Races are mostly short enabling riders to experience a number of different races ay any single event. There are a large number of event possibilities in Grass Track Racing and a number of examples are listed below to give an idea of what could be included.
Scratch Race: All Riders start together and race for a set number of laps. The first rider across the line is the winner.
Individual One Lap Time Trial: Individual Riders are timed to complete one lap of the track.
'Devil Take the Hindmost': This is a bunch race which sees the last rider to cross the finish line on each lap being eliminated from the race, when there are only 3 riders remaining the races becomes a flat out sprint over the last lap to declare the winner.
Points Race: This is a bunch race which involves riders sprinting for points on nominated laps.
Team Pursuit: The Team Pursuit involves 2 teams of mostly 4 riders starting on opposite sides of the track and chasing the apposing team for a specified number of laps. The lead rider in each team changes from the front to the back of the line every lap or half lap. The team that achieves the fastest time of catches their opponents is awarded the win.
Italian Pursuit: The Italian Pursuit is very similar to the Team Pursuit but the lead rideer does not rejoin the back of the line. The first rider leads for one lap the swings off until only one rider remains to sprint it out for victory.
Keirin: A Sprint Event which, at a high level of competition involves up to around 9 riders being paced behind a motorcycle known as a Derny, for 1km at about 50kph. The Derny then pulls off and the riders have a free for all sprinter for the last 500m. This events can be adapted to run on a grass track at a slower speed, over a shorter distance and using a coach of experienced rider as the 'Derny Rider'.