27 July 17:00 (BST)

A guide to track cycling at Glasgow 2018

GLASGOW - Tactical battles, nerves of steel and speeds of up to 80kmh - that is the excitement and drama of track cycling.

Riders race on a 250m wooden indoor track across several events. These are sprint or endurance, individual or team, head to head, or mass start.

The track cycling venue at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships is the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Emirates Arena, named after the Scottish 11-time world and six-time Olympic champion.

Track bikes have no brakes and a single fixed gear, meaning riders cannot freewheel and have to choose what size of gear to use depending on the event - sprint or endurance.

They are technically advanced, lightweight yet strong. Aero bars enable the rider to adopt a more aerodynamic position, with streamlined frames helping to reduce wind resistance. Drafting is crucial as riders race wheel-to-wheel in some events.

Over six days of competition, men and women will each contest 11 events.

Sprint
Head-to-head race over three laps of the track. Unlike in the individual pursuit, riders start next to each other.

Team sprint
In the men's event, three riders from the same team sprint over three laps. In the women's race, two riders compete over two laps. At the end of each lap the front rider leaves the track until only one remains. The two teams race against each other starting on opposite sides of the track.

Individual pursuit
Head-to-head race for endurance athletes. After a standing start on opposite sides of the track, riders pursue each other for 4000m (men) or 3000m (women). The rider who catches the other is declared the winner. Otherwise, they complete the whole distance in order to set the fastest time.

Team pursuit
Two teams composed of four competitors start on opposite sides of the track and ride in a tight formation. As in the individual pursuit, if a team catches their opponents, the race is over. Otherwise the team with the first three riders across the line wins.

Time trial
From a standing start, riders battle it out against the clock over 500m (women) and 1000m (men).

Points race
Mass-start (bunch) event over 25km for the women and 40km for the men, with points available at intermediate sprints for the first four riders across the line (5, 3, 2, 1). Additionally, riders who lap the main field (peloton) are awarded 20 extra points. The athlete with the most points at the end wins.

Keirin
Named after the Japanese word for fight, riders battle for position behind a pacing motorbike, a derny. The pace is gradually increased from 25kmh to 50kmh for men and 45kmh for women, until it exits the track to leave the riders in a straight race for the line.

Madison
Named after Madison Square Garden in New York - one of the birthplaces of track racing - this is a relay event for teams of two riders who take turns to hand sling each other back into the race. Like the points race, points are available for intermediate sprints. The winner of the race is the team that gains the most laps on the other teams.

Omnium
From the Latin 'of all', the omnium is a multi-discipline event - scratch race, elimination race, tempo race and points race - over one day of competition. Riders score points according to their finishing position in each event before the dramatic final event - the points race - in which riders can lose or gain points. The rider with the highest total wins. In case of a tie, placements in the last points race event are decisive.

Scratch race
A simple bunch race over 10km for the women and 15km for the men. The first rider across the line wins.

Elimination race
An endurance race in which the last rider across the finish line after every second lap is eliminated. This continues until there are two riders left who sprint for first place.

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