Friday 6 August 2021 by Chris Ballard

‘We have no idea what the rules are either’ admit Olympic track cyclists


Olympic cycling velodrome

Competitors at the Olympic velodrome have admitted they’re as baffled as everyone else by all the weird races.

Are you enjoying the Olympic track cycling but have no idea what’s going on? Team GB cyclist Simon Williams attempts to explain some of the events:

Sprint

“The idea of this one is to frustrate your opponent by going as slowly as possible – you’ll often seen cyclists practising this one with cars at the weekend. As soon as a cyclist get overtaken they’ll immediately start sprinting to get back in front. The aim is to be as annoying as possible.”

Team Sprint

“The least popular event with the cyclists. You’ll see one team member get bored and give up after each lap. Can’t see this one lasting – I doubt it’ll be in the next Olympics.”

Keirin

“This is perhaps the most fascinating of all the events. Cyclists compete against an actual motorbike – which seems totally unfair but actually, the motorbike has never won. In fact, it always seems to come last! Weird, eh?

Team Pursuit

“Teams start on opposite sides of the track and one chases the other. If they’re caught the other team becomes ‘it’ and they start chasing the other way. The event ends when the bell goes for the end of playtime.”

Omnium

“Yes, it sounds like something secretly injected into Russian dissidents, but it’s actually a multi-race cycling event. The Elimination is probably the most exciting bit – the rider in last place gets knocked out every couple of laps, with the rider currently in first place getting awarded Star Baker. The last man standing gets crowned King of the Jungle and gets a job working for Alan Sugar. Or something.”

Madison

“Named after Madison Lee, the main antagonist of the 2003 film Charlie’s Angels: Full throttle – as portrayed by Demi Moore. Cyclists must embark on a series of exciting crime-fighting adventures…

“Okay, I admit it, I haven’t got a clue what it’s all about.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me – I have to go and collect a gold medal, even though I’m not quite sure how I won it.”

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