Race Formats

Riders in the Championships will compete for glory across a range of track cycling race formats comprising individual and team events. Races will showcase the talents of riders through adrenaline-fuelled sprints, intense endurance races and tactical team events. 

Read on for more information on the various race formats at the 2013 UCI Juniors Track Cycling World Championships. 


The keirin is a fast and exciting event featuring speed, strength and courage. It is raced over a distance of 2000 metres with a maximum field of eight riders. A derny paces the field over the first 1400 metres, starting off at 30km/h and bringing the riders up to 50km/h. (Women’s keirin 25-45km/h). Riders manoeuvre for the most favourable position before the derny leaves the track. No cyclist is permitted to pass the derny, which departs with two and a half laps remaining, and then the battle begins. 


The sprint is one of the oldest forms of track cycling competition. The sprint classic is a short distance event, which two or more riders compete in over three laps or 750 meters. Only the final 200 meters of the racing is timed. The special requirements of the sprint are strength and speed. The key is tactics. Riders try to out position each other in a game of “cat and mouse”. Sudden and strategic changes of speed stand still attempts and feints are typical ways of surprising the opponent. A typical sprint competition sees individual riders timed over the flying 200 meter distance and seeded according to their qualifying times.

Team Sprint:

The team sprint pits two teams of three riders (two riders for women) against the clock and each other over three laps (two laps for women) of the track. The task of the starting rider is to get out of the gate cleanly and bring the team up to a high speed as quickly as possible. After one lap the first rider peels off to allow the next rider to make the pace. The leading rider must not swing up until a full lap is complete and must peel off between an area of 15 meters before and after the start line otherwise the team will be disqualified. 

Scratch Race:

Scratch racing was introduced in 2002. The scratch race is one of the most exciting events, commencing with a massed start of competitors who race the assigned distance with the placings determined during the final sprint, taking into account any laps gained. Tactics are important in this event with endurance riders keeping the pace fast and furious in an effort to eliminate the sprint specialists, who in turn will try and shelter within the group to conserve their energy for the final sprint. The final ten laps are where the courage, skill, positioning and tenacity of the competitors comes to the fore as the fast finishing field prepares for the final sprint.

Point’s race:

A point’s race is a mass start race where sprints for points occur at regular intervals. Points are for first, second, third and fourth in each sprint. Riders win or lose 20 points by gaining or losing a lap. The winner is the rider with the most points accumulated at the finish.


The madison is similar to the points race , except it is done with two person teams. Riders can sling each other into the race so they can rest for short periods while their teammate is in the action. A team can gain a distinct advantage by lapping the field. If a team does this they are automatically leading even if they have scored no points in the sprints. The winning team is the team leading on points at the finish or who is a lap ahead of the rest.

Individual Time Trial:

The time trial is a race against the clock with no room for error. The difference between gold and silver can be as little as a thousandth of a second. The bike is locked in a starting gate and riders must time their first pedal stroke to match the gate release. From a standing start they must quickly get up to maximum speed and maintain it for the distance.


The omnium is a new event on the Olympic program. It is designed to formulate the “ironman of cycling” and discover the most versatile cyclist of track racing. The event consists of six events held over two days starting with a flying lap, then a point’s race, an elimination race, an individual pursuit, scratch race and finally a time trial. From each of the six events the competitors will be ranked from first to last place. The overall Omnium winner will be determined by the cyclist who has accumulated the lowest total of the rankings for the six events.

Individual Pursuit:

The individual pursuit is an endurance event and it is conducted as a knock out tournament. The goal is to ride the fastest time over the distance. The fastest two riders in the qualifying round race in the gold medal final and the next two fastest contest the bronze medal final. In qualifying all riders complete the distance to post a time but in the finals if a rider overtakes their opponent they are declared the winner.

Team Pursuit:

This is a true test of technical skill, tactics and teamwork. Four cyclists (four for women) line up and their success relies on how well they work together. The rider on the front must keep the pace as high as possible but not ride so fast that they surge away from their teammates. The cyclists must ride as close as possible to the rear wheel of the rider in front of them to gain every possible aerodynamic benefit but make sure they don’t touch wheels. The riders swing up the track at the end of their “turn” on the front leaving the next rider to set the pace. The time is taken on the front wheel of the third rider to cross the line.