Like swimming, rowing and athletics, track cycling has many different types of events. The main difference is that while many are run at a championship level, there are also many that are not. That said, many of those club level races help develop skills needed in the championship events.
The list below is by no means complete. It serves as a reference for the types of club races to expect at Neo Track.
CREDIT: These explanations were lifted from the rawtrack.com.au website, with tweaks made to suit our venue and athletes. Thanks go Paul Craft.
Each club has their own variation of events, so be sure to check their explanations when racing elsewhere.
The scratch race (the simplest race) is listed first. All others are in alphabetical order.
This is the simplest type of track cycling event. Racers start in a group, race a set number of laps and the first rider across the line wins.
1 lap Screamer
Riders draw lots to start in position 1-4 up the track. The riders start in a Time trial hold (no-push) for whistle start. First one back wins.
Elimination / Miss ‘n’ Out / Devil’s Race / Devil Take The Hindmost
The bike equivalent of musical chairs, every lap the last rider across the finish line is pulled out of the race until only two riders remain. The remaining two riders are given the bell and maneuver themselves before the final all out sprint to the finish line. Keep your eyes peeled to the back of the field that’s where all the excitement lies in this event.
This is a standard Elimination however the derny (motorbike) follows the bunch 100m behind. As the riders are eliminated they drop back to the derny and continue till all riders are behind the derny. The derny sets a controlled pace for 1 lap then pulls off to leave a Keirin style finish.
Scoring in the Elimination phase; each rider receives the corresponding points to the position they are eliminated i.e. first out =1 point 5th out= 5 points etc. The winner of the Elimination receives their corresponding points plus a bonus of 1 point.
The Keirin phase is scored as 8, 5, 3 and 2 (if bunch is greater than 9 riders) and 5, 3 ,2 and 1. (for bunches of 8 or less)
The winner of the race is the rider with the most points.
Half Field scratch/sprint
Your division will be split into two heats (based on point score rankings). So if there are 18 riders in div 2 there will be two heats each containing 9 riders. The race is run under standard scratch race rules. At only 3 laps in length this race is considered more like a sprint than a scratch race.
This team event combines riders of all standards to form two teams at opposite sides of the track. Team captains organise their team so as the slowest riders are at the front of the train. After the end of each lap, the leading rider pulls off completely, leaving the next to fight the wind. Therefore, the first rider has to do one lap, the second, two laps, and the last rider completes as many laps as there are people in their team. Hence, the last rider typically has the best endurance. The pace of this race is continuously building and lead often changes hands between the opposing teams, until the final two riders are left to decide the race. If the handicapper does a good job this can be without a doubt one of the most exciting races as the excitement builds with the pace.
The Keirin is a motorpaced event that is very popular in Japan where it originated. In that country, huge amounts of money are bet on races and professional Keirin riders command impressive salaries. It is similar to the match sprint, but features 6-8 riders on the track. A derny motorbike paces the riders from 25 km/h up to 45 km/h for the first few laps. With one and a half laps to go, the derny bike pulls off and the sprint is on.
A derny motorbike paces the riders from the start at 45 km/h for the first few laps. The derny rider will up the pace to a steady 48km/h. During this time, riders will rotate positions completing a max of one lap behind the derny. With about four laps to go, the derny bike pulls off and a standard scratch race starts. This event is intended to be a endurance race, with the pace of the derny ensuring fatigue has set in by the time it swings off.
This is a standard scratch race however the number of laps is predetermined by the organiser and concealed. The riders are given a bell with 1 lap to go. The bell ringer is the most cruel person we can find, often teasing the riders by giving the appearance the bell is about to ring when it is not due.
The race is run similar to a points race, however each lap is a sprint for first place only and worth one point. The overall winner is the rider with the most points.
Riders must score points by sprinting for intermittent sprints every few laps for bonuses (5, 3, 2, 1 points). The number of laps varies from grade to grade. Lapping the field scores a bonus 20 points, consequently losing a lap to the field scores -20points. (however at Neo lapped riders are withdrawn without penalty to their score) The final sprint is worth double points (however at Neo we generally only have 3 sprints so-“no double on last sprint”) Winner of the race is the rider with the most points, ties are split by position on final sprint. (however at Neo later sprints take precedence)
Ran on the same rules as the Point’a’Lap race however, instead of earning points you earn cards. On your first lap win you a card, on any additional point won you receive an extra card. The winner of the race is the rider who has the highest ranked card Ace Hearts being the highest and 2 of Spades the lowest. Don’t worry you don’t have to carry the cards with you, we keep them on the desk.
RAW Crawl / Aussie Crawl
In this race all riders start in the front straight and must be free standing (track standing) by the time the first whistle blows. If a rider comes off the track, crosses the start line, puts a foot down or falls they are out of the race and must vacate the track if safe to do so. The second whistle, which happens a random time (predetermined by random # generator) indicates the start of the race proper which is basically a 1 lap screamer.
Sometimes called a progressive point-score. The race is run similar to a Points Race, however each lap is a sprint for first place only with the points earned corresponding to the laps completed i.e. the winner of the first sprint gets 1 point, winner of the 10th sprint gets 10 points. The overall winner is the rider with the most points.
At Neo Track, sprints are usually run as 4-6 ups over 2 laps. The first few laps are usually spent sizing your opponents up and positioning yourself for the optimum explosion to the finish. It is not uncommon for a sneaky rider to attack early in the hope of holding a lead to the finish. The sprint is a test of power, speed and above all, tactics.
An event over 17 laps (7.2km). It is the final race of the evening every second night. This race is open to Div 1 and Div 2 riders only (maximum 24 riders).
The Event is run as a timed scratch race over 7.5km. The bunch rolls around for 1 lap and are given a whistle to indicate the start of the stop watch and 17 laps to go! Generally the pace is high from the start with all riders rolling through to do a turn, usually by 5 laps to go we have only a few riders left. There is a $50 prize for the winner of the race so long as they beat the seasonal best time.
If they fail to beat the time, the $50 jackpots.
The RAW 2005 season at Dunc Gray Velodrome went like this:
Week 1 time to beat 9min 30, winning time 9:23 , prize paid.
Week 3 time to beat 9:23, winning time 9:12 , prize paid.
Week 5 time to beat 9:12, winning time 9:06, prize paid.
Week 7 time to beat 9:06, winning time 9:09 , prize $0 Jackpot
Week 9 time to beat 9:06, winning time 8:45, prize paid (double)
Week 11 time to beat 8:45, winning time 8:56, prize $0 Jackpot
Week 13 time to beat 8:45, winning time 8:47, prize $0 Jackpot
Week 15 time to beat 8:45, winning time 8:37, prize paid (triple)
Stel to update the above times to use a Lidcombe Oval example after Summer 22/23
A Wheelrace is a handicap event open to a wide range of riders. The race distance is typically 1000-2000 metres (typically three laps at Lidcombe Oval for 1278m race). Riders start from a variety of positions around the track, with their handicap (or position) based on current grading and past performances. The top riders start from the ‘scratch mark’ – which is the absolute race distance – but they are sometimes over 300 metres behind the first riders (limit riders) who have that much less distance to travel. The scratch riders are the only competitors who have to cover the entire race distance.
The race is over 10 laps at Lidcombe Oval. With 9 laps to-go a whistle is blown to indicate the first sprint. The winner of this sprint qualifies for the final sprint, however they must continue to race, keeping a close eye on the winners of the sprints with 7, 5 and 3 laps to go. Each of these riders also qualify for the final sprint. With 3 laps to go all non-qualifying riders must withdraw from the race, leaving a 4 up sprint to decide the final placing.
Think of this race as a number of heats and a final all combined in one race.
You should really pay attention to the commentary if you have never raced this event before.
This race is the most confusing to follow for the least experienced riders. In a normal week, the grade order is Div 4, Div 3, Div 2, Div 1, but when we run this race, we change it to Div 3, Div 2, Div 1, Div 4 to give our least experienced riders a chance to watch and learn.
Win ’n’ Out
This is the opposite of an Elimination (Miss’n’Out) race. After a designated number of laps a whistle is blown for the first sprint. The winner of the first sprint is deemed the winner of the race and allowed to carefully withdraw from the race. Each proceeding lap sprint will produce the consecutive places from 2nd to 4th. Tip if you go for a sprint make sure you win it.