Track time trial

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In the track time trial, a track cycling event, cyclists compete individually against the clock to record the fastest time over the specified distance from a standing start.


The bike

Track time trial bikes differ from normal track bikes in two major ways; firstly they have two solid disc wheels for aerodynamics, and secondly they use aero-bars to allow the rider to adopt a more aerodynamic riding position, for the same reasons as in road individual time trials. The frames are often more streamlined to help cut through the air.

Men - 1 km Time Trial

At the UCI Track World Championships, the distance for senior men is 1000 metres, hence the event's alternative name, the 'Kilo', short for kilometer. Junior men race over 500m. Being such a short, high-intensity event, the kilo is popular with riders who specialise in the sprint. The Kilo time trial was removed from Olympics programme after 2004, to make way for BMX racing. This led to a number of Kilo riders, most notably Chris Hoy, focusing on other sprint events.

This event is a straight out race against the clock from a standing start over 1000m. Most indoor tracks are 250m in length, so a kilo is usually held over 4 laps. Other common track lengths are 167m (6 laps), 333m (3 laps) or 400m (2.5 laps). Riders will keep to the black line at the bottom of the track to ensure they have to cover the least distance over the 1000m. Riders usually only get 1 attempt to set a time, and the winner of the event is simply the rider to post the quickest time.

A fast time at elite level is around 1 minute 5 seconds.

Women - 500m Time Trial

The Women's version of the event is held over 500m. Other than the race distance this is the same as the men's Kilo event, with the fastest rider over the distance declared the winner. This event was also removed from the Olympic programme after 2004 to make way for the BMX.

A fast time at elite level is around 35 seconds.

Flying 200 m time trial

The flying 200 m time trial (so-called because riders have a flying start, as opposed to the standing start in the kilo/500 m) is rarely held on its own. It is more commonly used as the qualifying event for the sprint competition, or as part of an Omnium competition. Velodromes have a line painted across the track at 200 m before the finish line, for this purpose. Therefore, the size the track will determine where the 200-meter line is (for 250 m tracks, it is about two-thirds of the way through the first bend; for 200-meter tracks, it is the finish line; for 400-meter tracks, it is the start line in the back straight). The clock will start as they cross this line and stop when they reach the finish line.

Depending on the size of the track, riders have between one and three laps to build up speed before the clock starts. They will ride around the very top of the track as they near the start line, then drop down to the bottom to gain as much speed as possible from rolling down the steep inclined banking. The Flying 200 m is ridden on a standard track bike (drop handlebars, spoked front wheel) when it is part of the Sprint competition, and often during the Omnium as well so riders need have only one bike.

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