Track Cycling World Championships

The Track Cycling World Championships are o­ne of the annual world championship events sponsored by the International Cycling Union (UCI). Like the Olympics, the Track Cycling World Championships competitors are organized by national teams, the members of which are chosen by each country's cycling associations.

The Track Cycling World Championships events include including time trials, individual and team pursuits, points race, individual and team sprints, keirins, madisons, omniums, and scratch races. The races are open to both amateurs and professionals, although before 1993, amateurs and professionals competed separately. Women's events were added in 1958.

Track cycling championships have been run since 1893 for amateurs, and 1895 for professionals. Originally, they were organized by Britain's International Cycling Association (ICA). But after 1900, there was resentment over British domination of the ICA, and a controversy erupted over the amateur status of Arthur Zimmerman, an American cyclist who had won two of the three gold medals at the 1893 championships. These disruptions led other countries to line up behind the French-administered UCI, which became recognized as cycling's international governing body.

The 1893 Track Cycling World Championships were held in Chicago. Since then, they have been allocated to different countries as selected by the UCI. Upcoming hosts include Ballerup, Denmark, in 2010, Apeldoom, Netherlands, in 2011, and Melbourne, Australia, in 2012.

Gold, silver, and bronze medals are given to the first-, second-, and third-place finishers in each event. Gold medalists are also awarded a white jersey with rainbow stripes, which they are allowed to wear in competition until next year's Track Cycling World Championships.