Track CyclingTrack cycling is a version of bicycle racing that is held on tracks or velodromes. The tracks are specially-built for track bicycles but in most cases the races are held on older velodromes where the track banking is rather shallow. Some particular events of track racing such as those in Scotland at Highland Games or those held in the summer in England feature tracks that are done on grass tracks and are marked out on flat sport fields.
There are two main types of track racing events and they include Sprint races and Endurance races. It is a common rule that riders specialize in one of these types of races and will not compete in the other. The decision to specialize in one area or the other is usually taken at the junior levels when riders with good all round abilities in the junior ranks may decide to specialize on one of these areas before moving to the senior ranks. Sprint races are usually between 3 and 8 laps in length and the emphasis is on race tactics and raw sprinting power which riders use over a small number of laps to defeat their opponents. Because in these types of races sprinters do not need to prove any endurance ability, they will most commonly train specifically for sprint races and almost never compete in endurance races which are longer in distance and can last from 12 to 16 laps in the Individual and Team Pursuit race and 200 laps in the Olympic Games and World Championship.
The Olympic Games is one of the major competitions in this sport and it is held once in four years, in the Summer Olympics. At the past Summer Olympics, in 2008, 7 of the total events in track cycling were meant for men and 3 for women. At the next one, in 2012, there will be 5 events for each category.