The Track cycling events are due to take place in the new Olympic Velodrome. Built purposely for the London Olympics there will be 10 events over several days including Men’s and Women’s Sprint, Keirin, Team Sprint, Omnium and Team Pursuit. The Track cycling kick starts the track events with the Team Sprint competition, a fast paced, exciting race where the athletes must use strength and technique to complete successfully and win the round.
The Team Sprint was introduced in 1996 and the women’s first team sprint took place in 2007 making it the newest event to be created for the UCI World Championship and Olympic cycling programmes. The event consists of two teams that start on opposite ends of the track. The men have a team of 3 and will complete 3 laps, whereas the woman will compete as teams of 2 and complete 2 laps of the track.
Essentially the Team Sprint is like a team time trial, riders line up behind each other at the end of each lap the leading rider in the team pulls off leaving their teammates to continue until just one rider is left to complete the race on behalf of their team.
The sprints will begin with qualifying rounds that are against the clock, where the best of 8 teams go forward into the first round (knockout rounds) which will consist of the following line up: 4th v 5th, 3rd v 6th, 2nd v 7th and 1st v 8th. The four winning teams will then proceed to contest for the medals. The two teams that finished in the fastest times in the first round will battle it out for the gold and the two teams with the slowest time will go head to head for the bronze medal.
The Team Sprint is fast, and it’s not without excitement as the current men’s world time is 42 seconds. Crashes can easily occur as teams fight to beat records, meaning that you won’t have much time to get up and make yourself a cup of tea until the competition is over.
The Track Cycling Team Sprint takes place on Thursday, August 2nd.
Qualifying rounds begin at 16:15 GMT
Round 1 begins at 17:46 GMT
Finals (Medal Round) begins at 18:15 GMT