European Track Cycling Championships
European track cycling championship events do not just focus on who can cross a finish line first. It is very helpful for bicycle racing enthusiasts to be aware of the rules of each track cycling specialty before they can really enjoy watching the races.
The race with the simplest rules is called a "scratch race". Before a winner is seen crssing the finish line, the five slowest cyclists will be eliminated at fifty-lap intervals. Also, any cyclists that fall two laps or more behind will be eliminated. This race lasts 400 laps.
The Madison race involves teams of two cyclists in a relay. Every participating cyclist starts on the track initially, and then only one member of the team will be allowed on the track at a time. The most exciting part of this type of race is when one team member succeeds in slinging his mate, by the arm, into the competition. This race consists of 200 laps, with points awarded for sprints every 20 laps. A team may win by these points if all the teams finish within the same lap.
The keirin is a race that involves a motorized pace bike called a "derny". The keirin is an eight lap sprint where the cyclists jostle one another in an attempt to get as close as they can to the pace bike without passing its rear wheel and without crashing. The pace bike leads the racers for five and 1/2 laps, then the cyclists fight to see who will cross the finish line first. Many cyclists do crash in this event.
The European Track Cycling Championships are for young riders, and they serve to prepare future olympic cyclists.
There are 2 divisions; under 18, and 18-23.
Details about track racing events can be found at www.new.britishcycling.org.uk, and at www.ibike.org.