Race Guides

Take a look at all the events taking place during the 2017 TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup round in Manchester.


Men's sprint MITCHELL Ethan of New Zealand and GLAETZER Matthew of Australia.

The sprint competition begins with a 200 m flying start time trial to seed the riders for the knock-out stages. The fastest four riders head straight into the 1/8 finals round with the rest contesting the 1/16 finals. These rounds are straight knock-outs with the later quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals being decided over the best of three rides.

Contested over three laps, track sprinting is not just a battle of power and speed but also of wit, intelligence and tactical nous. In the early part of the contest you can expect to see riders slowly circle the track in a game of ‘cat and mouse’, each trying to out-position their rival in order to launch a surprise dash for the line. The race often comes down to the last 50m but you may see some riders choosing to go early – it seemed to work for Sir Chris Hoy!

UCI world champions (2017)

Men: Denis Dmitriev (Russia) Women: Kristina Vogel (Germany)

Olympic champions (2016)

Men: Jason Kenny (Great Britain) Women: Kristina Vogel (Germany)



Women's keirin

Originating in Japan, where it is a popular gambling sport, the keirin is one of the most recognisable track events, not least because of its famous ‘motorbike’ (called a derny) that paces the riders for the opening laps. Positioning behind the derny is paramount and riders will try to jostle each other out of position to gain an advantage over their rivals as its speed increases from 30 kph to 50 kph. The riders draw their starting position by lots and have to keep that position behind the derny for at least one lap. With three laps remaining the derny leaves the track and the sprint is on. Hitting finishing speeds of up to 70 kph, riders fight to be the first across the line.

The keirin is contested in rounds, with riders who narrowly miss out on qualifying from the first round having a chance to progress to the second round through the repechages. The first three riders across the line in each of the two second round races will go through to contest the final with the remaining riders competing for 7-12 places.

UCI world champions (2017)

Men: Mohd Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) Women: Kristina Vogel (Germany)

Olympic champions (2016)

Men: Jason Kenny (Great Britain) Women: Elis Ligtlee (Netherlands)



Men's 1KM Time Trail - Francois Pervis

Time trials are the simplest track races to get to grips with. Riders must stop the clock fastest over 1000 m for the men (known as the ‘kilo’) or 500 m for the women. An explosive start is essential but riders must be able to hit and maintain good top speed in order to post the fastest time. Men also require good endurance to carry them through the final few hundred metres of the kilometre when lactic acid build-up in the legs is almost intolerable.

UCI world champions (2017)

Men (kilometre): Francois Pervis (France) Women (500 m): Dana Shmeleva (Russia)



Women's scratch race.

The scratch could be described a simple ‘first across the line’ race. This may sound straightforward but between the massed start and final sprint for the line lie laps bursting with strategy and tactics.

Within the bunch will be a mixture of endurance and sprint specialists. The endurance specialists will aim to lap the field in order to prevent the powerful sprinters from saving themselves for the end of the race where they will have the upper hand. The sprinters will try to save their energy until the very end of the race by sheltering in the bunch until a sprint finish but they must be careful not to let anyone take a lap or a sprint for the line will be futile.

The blend of skills on show and tactics employed make the scratch one of the most exciting races to watch. Expect to see lots of action as riders make attacks and either gain a lap or are chased down by the pack. It’s not enough just to lap the field though – you need to make sure you’ve saved enough energy for the finish too!

The Glasgow world cup round will see a women’s scratch contested over 10 km (40 laps) with qualifying heats of 5 km (20 laps).

UCI world champions (2017)

Men: Adrian Teklinski (Poland) Women: Rachele Barbieri (Italy)



Women's Points Race Final - BARKER Elinor of Great Britain.

The aim of the aptly-named points race is to accumulate as many points as possible with the winning rider the one who has accumulated the most during the race. These points are scored during intermediate sprints which occur every ten laps. These points can be gained by scoring points in the sprints every 10 laps (the first four riders across the line pick up five, three, two and one point respectively, or by taking a lap from the field, for which 20 points are gained. Following a recent rule change, riders are awarded double points in the last sprint after the full distance.

Expect to see tactics playing a big part in these races because, like in the scratch, more endurance focussed riders will try to take laps and the sprinters will try to hold the race together to compete for the sprint points. Riders need to race intelligently, as well as having stamina and sprinting power, to ensure they bag as many points as possible. Keep an eye on the scoreboard, listen to the commentary and watch out for attacks following the sprints.

The Glasgow world cup round will see a men’s points race contested over 30 km (120 laps), with qualifying heats of 15 km (60 laps).

UCI world champions (2017)

Men: Cameron Meyer (Australia) Women: Elinor Barker (Great Britain)



Men's Madison - STEWART Mark and WOOD Oliver of Great Britain.

The Madison is contested by teams of two riders who can tag (with a hand sling) each other in and out of the race. The resting rider in the pair will circle the top of the banking but it’s the in-race riders towards the bottom of the track you should keep your eyes on.

Points are awarded for sprints with the top four teams awarded five, three, two and one respectively. Points awarded in the last sprint after the full distance will be doubled and like in the points race, teams gaining a lap on the main bunch are awarded 20 points and teams losing a lap are deducted 20 points. The team finishing with the highest number of points wins. The best Madison teams will have one rider with great endurance who is capable of a long push to take a lap and one who specialises in sprinting and can mop up the sprint points or make a sudden explosive effort to make a break.

The tactics and the interplay between the riders are fascinating and, like in the points race, watch the scoreboard and listen to the commentary. The Madison can be exciting and confusing in equal measures but focus on the jerseys of the key teams and you’ll be able to follow what’s going on. If you do lose the front of the race, look out for the official on the finish line pointing to the team leading at the beginning of each lap.

This event will feature the first ever women’s Madison at a world cup. Qualifying heats of 15 km (60 laps) will take place before a 20 km (100 laps) final.

UCI world champions (2017)

Men: France (Morgan Kneisky and Benjamin Thomas)  Women: Belgium (Jolien D’Hoore and Lotte Kopecky)



Women's Individual Pursuit Finals - DYGERT Chloe of USA

The ultimate head-to-head endurance event, the individual pursuit is the definitive test of staying power. Whilst an explosive start is helpful, the ability to ride at a consistently high speed is important – some riders may appear to be well up on their opponents, only to fade in the last kilometre.

This world cup round will feature a men’s event contested over 4 km. The qualifying rounds will see each rider post a time with the fastest four progressing to the medal finals. In the finals the first rider to complete the distance wins, unless one rider catches the other, at which point the race is won and it’s game over.

UCI world champions (2017)

Men: Jordan Kerby  (Australia) Women: Chloe Dygert (USA)



Men's team sprint. GER - Germany 94 BALZER Erik 96 NIEDERLAG Max 95 ENGLER Eric

Teams of three men or two women need speed, power and perfect technique for this most explosive of events. Teams start on opposite sides of the track and compete over two and three laps respectively. All teams will post a time in the qualifying round with the top eight going through to the first round, where they will be drawn against each other based upon seeding (ie, first against eighth, second versus seventh etc.). The winners of the four heats advance to the medal round, with the two fastest teams competing in the gold-medal final and the two slowest teams racing for bronze.

Whilst sheer speed is vital, technique is also key in this event as riders must get off the line quickly from a standing start, get rapidly into a tight and efficient formation and race as close together as possible to maximise slipstreaming. Each rider completes one lap at the front and only one rider from the team must complete the race so each rider can hold nothing back on their turn. No energy can be wasted and changeovers are closely scrutinised by the commissaires so the margin for error is tiny.

UCI world champions (2017)

Men: New Zealand (Edward Dawkins, Ethan Mitchell and Sam Webster)

Women: Russia (Daria Shmeleva & Anastasiia Voinova)

Olympic champions (2016)

Men: Great Britain (Phillip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner)

Women: China (Jinjie Gong & Tianshi Zhong)



Great Britain's women's team pursuit in action. Ellie Dickinson, Manon Lloyd, Emily Nelson and Elinor Barker.

One of cycling’s most iconic events, the aim is simple: pursue your opponents and catch them if you can.

The winning team is the one that crosses the line first (three riders must finish and the time is taken from the third rider’s front wheel crossing the line). In the final, if one team catches the other then the race is won there and then. Look out for the coach ‘walking the line’ to give the riders pacing information.

Stamina is pushed to the limit as the riders maintain top speeds over the gruelling 4 km race. Together they must maximise efficiency, taking it in turns to ride at the front. After their turn, the front rider will swing up the track and rejoin the line at the back. This must be perfectly timed as riders keep only millimetres apart and any error of judgment can be disastrous!

Teams will ride a qualifying round against the clock with the top eight teams qualifying for the first round where first will race fourth, second will take on third, fifth against eighth and sixth versus seventh. The winners of the heats involving the top four qualifiers go through to the gold-medal final. The two places in the bronze-medal final are determined by the fastest first round times of the six remaining qualifiers.

UCI world champions (2017)

Men: Australia (Cameron Meter, Alexander Porter, Sam Welsford and Nicholas Yallouris)

Women: USA (Kelly Catlin, Chloe Dygert, Kimberly Geist and Jennifer Valente)

Olympic champions (2016)

Men: Great Britain (Steven Burke, Edward Clancy, Owain Doull and Sir Bradley Wiggins)

Women: Great Britain (Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell Shand and Laura Trott)



Women's omnium, scratch Race

The new-look omnium sees riders compete in four bunch events, testing their versatility by demanding a combination of speed and endurance as well as skill and tactical nous.

Riders (women) will contest a scratch race (10 km), elimination race, tempo race (7.5 km) and points race (20 km). The elimination, also known as the ‘Devil Take the Hindmost’, is especially exciting with the last rider crossing the line every two laps eliminated until only the winner remains.

The tempo race is a new addition to the omnium and sees riders accumulate points by winning sprints or taking laps. With the exception of the first five laps, intermediate sprints occur every lap with the first rider in each sprint awarded one point. Riders can also gain four points for lapping the main field and any rider caught by the main peloton must immediately leave the track, losing any points they have accrued in that event. Their ranking is determined by the number of riders remaining on the track at that moment.

Riders will aim to collect the most points over the four events. The winner of each of the first three events – the scratch race, elimination race and tempo race – will be rewarded 40 points with second place receiving 38 points, third place 36 points and so on. The final event will be the points race with riders starting with the points they have accumulated from the first three events. Their total will then increase or decrease depending on their performance in the points race to decide the final positions so prepare for an exciting finish as it will go right to the wire.

UCI world champions (2017)

Men: Thomas Benjamin (France) Women: Katie Archibald (Great Britain)

Olympic champions (2016)

Elia Viviani (Italy) and Laura Trott (Great Britain)