Cycling World Magazine July 2017 - Page 71

July 2017| 71 Points race Olympic races Non-Olympic races Much the same as a scratch race, a points race is contested over a set distance, with sprints at pre- determined points throughout the race. A 40km points race, for example, will run over laps, with the first sprint coming with 150 laps to go and another sprint every ten laps until the end. Riders collect points for where they finish in the sprint, with the first rider being awarded the highest number of points and the final sprint being allotted double points. The rider with the most points at the end wins. Omnium Individual pursuit Team pursuit Madison Sprint Points race Team sprint Scratch race Keirin Time trials Competitors can again attack to try and take a lap, with anyone successfully lapping the field being awarded points, while you get a measly five for winning a sprint, so taking a lap is highly sought after but hard to achieve. Madison Recent rule changes make the Madison one giant points race, only with riders competing in teams of two, rather than individually. While one rider is ‘in the race’ their teammate conserves energy by rolling around the top or bottom of the track until their teammate throws them into the race via a ‘handsling’ – allowing them to switch places, and so on and so forth. It can make for chaotic, but also compelling, viewing and is one of those races that needs to be seen in person to best understand. Other than the handslings and teams, the scoring system follows the same format as the points race. Omnium The omnium now consists of four separate events, each held on the same day, with the aim being to find the best all-round rider. A scratch race kicks things off, with points being awarded for finishing first, before a tempo race comes next. The tempo race sees riders given a five lap start, before a sprint on every lap for the remainder of the race – commonly 40 laps for men and 30 for women. Points are awarded for the first over the line each lap. The rider with the most points at the end of the allotted laps wins. The elimination race, sometimes known as the devil takes the hindmost’, comes third in the day and is a real crowd pleaser, always making for great viewing. After two laps the bell is rung, with the last person to cross the start finish line in the next lap being eliminated from the race. Eliminations continue every other lap until you have a one-on-one sprint left to determine the winner. Finally, after those three events, all the points accrued are taken into the points race with the same format as previously described, and the rider with the most points at the end wins the omnium. Domestic racing and the future While the best of the best compete in the Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cups, you can’t stay at the top of your game with those events alone. Fortunately, there are other race series’ out there to allow riders to hone their skills before heading to the international competitions. Leading the pack among those events is the Revolution Series, which sees pairs of riders compete in a series of races over a night, accruing points for their team, rather like an omnium. The series began in at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester and has now spread to include race nights in Glasgow and London, with the Champions eague format now including C WorldTour road teams fighting it out for supremacy alongside the best of Britain’s domestic track talent. James Pope, of Revolution founders FACE Partnership, is keen not to stand still and is always developing new ideas to bring in fans to the sport, be they the Longest Lap (think trying to stay upright on a bike when your feet are still clipped into the pedals before the gun sparks an all- out one-lap sprint or the Madison time trial a kilo race completed in pairs with a Madison-style handsling at the halfway changeover) or the involvement of the world’s best road riders. “Fifteen years is a long time so we’ve had to keep changing, developing the format; you can’t just keep doing the same thing,” Pope advises. “A lot of people liked the way we used to do it, but I think it’s important to keep trying to innovate track cycling. We try and do different things each season, whether that’s creating a race like the longest lap, or the Champions League format, I think we’re just trying to keep people interested in the sport; get more people interested in the sport. The Champions eague, getting these pro teams on the track, and creating the women’s competition will hopefully help to bring more fans in and still keep the existing fans interested in coming back to Revolution.”