Ulster Cycling News

Track Endurance Events

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Individual Pursuit

Riders begin from a standing start in pairs on opposite sides of the Track and literally "pursue" each other for 4000 meters (3000 meters for women). In the finals, the first rider to complete 4000m wins, unless one rider is caught by the other, at which point the race is over.
Team Pursuit

Two teams of 4 riders (3 riders for women) start on opposite sides of the track and compete over 4 km (3 km for women). The winning team is the one that manages to catch its opponents or that records the fastest time. The major difference to the individual sprint is that the riders share the workload, with the lead rider staying at the front for only a lap or so before swinging up the track (right) and re-joining the three or four rider line at the back. This is a very technical events with riders swing down to rejoin the team often only centimetres off the wheel of their team mate. Time in the men’s event is taken when the third person crosses the line.

Points Race

This is a team event comprising 20-30 riders. There are intermediate sprints during the events and riders go all out to gain points on these. Should a rider to manage to lap the field he can gain a large number of bonus points. The final result is determined according to points gained during sprints (one every 10 laps on a 250 m track) and by laps won. At the UCI World Championships, the distance is 40 km for men and 25 km for women. This event requires strength, stamina and the ability to produce a burst of sprinting power to gain points.


Up to 18 teams of two riders take part in this relay race contested by means of intermediary sprints. While one team member races, the other slows down to take a rest. He generally circles the track high up the banking until he is caught by his team-mate at which point he swoops down and his team-mate gives him  a hand sling (the rider who is "in" takes the hand of his team-mate and transfers his momentum to him through a sling shot.)The rested rider then  takes over the racing for the pair. The classification is established according to the distance covered and the points won in the sprints. The Madison is held over distances of 25-50 km for Elite Men depending on the competition.

Scratch Race

This is a race for up to 24 individual riders over 15 km for men and 10 km for women. The first lap is neutralised.   Basically the first person over the line at the end is the winner. A strong endurance rider may try to lap the field while a good sprinter will go for a win in the final lap.