Video Guides: Olympic track cycling disciplines

Great Britain will look to defend their track pursuit gold

Great Britain will look to defend their track pursuit gold (Image credit: Daniel Simms)

With the excitement of the road events now over at the 2012 Olympic Games, with gold medals won in the men's events by Alexander Vinokourov (road race) and Bradley Wiggins (time trial), and in the women's events by Marianne Vos (road race) and Kristin Armstrong (time trial), all eyes now turn to the track.

Six days of action get underway this afternoon in the Olympic Velodrome in London, with two gold medals up for grabs on day one. With so many disciplines it can be hard to keep track of the exact rules and regulations of each event. So in partnership with our sister site BikeRadar, we have put together some exclusive video guides to each of the races at this year's Games. Former Olympic gold medallist and multiple world champion Chris Boardman offers his expert analysis, which will only improve your appreciation of the events.


The omnium, which takes place over two days, is a new event for 2012 and has incorporated several disciplines under one umbrella. It has been referred to as the 'decathlon of track cycling' and contains three sprint events and three endurance events.


Team Pursuit

Teams of four (for men) and three (for women) compete over 4km and 3km respectively in this event, where the name of the game is either completing the distance in the fastest time or catching your opponents. Aerodynamics and team tactics are the keys here, as the video explains.



This event is arguably the most exciting of all the disciplines, with, as Chris Boardman says in the video, speeds hitting up to 60km/h and riders producing more torque than a sports car. Riders begin with a 200m time trial and then progress to the head-to-head elimination rounds.



Originating in Japan in 1948, this event begins as a mass start behind a motorised bike. Riders draw lots to decide their starting position and when the motorised bike rolls away it's every man or woman for themselves...


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