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Cycling PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 02 January 2007 06:14


Track cyclist in competition  Cycling
Track cycle racing takes place on a banked track known as a Velodrome

Cycling can be divided into two main categories: track and road. Track cycling is contested on a specially-built banked track known as a velodrome (250m long for major games).

Road cycling takes place on public roads where the natural surroundings create a scenic backdrop for the course. The road race competition at the 15th Asian Games will be staged primarily on the Corniche bay.

Cycling is far more complicated and strategic than first apparent. Riding in close proximity, known as drafting, is usually the key to victory. Following close behind an opponent or team mate (in their slipstream) dramatically reduces wind resistance, so the race leader is frequently at a disadvantage.

The advantage of drafting is most noticeable in the track sprint races, where the two competitors jockey for position. Cyclists often come to a virtual standstill on the track while trying to manoeuvre into second place, with the aim of catapulting out of their opponent's slipstream to clinch victory.

In team races, cyclists work together with their team mates, alternating the leadership so they can take full advantage of the drafting effect.

If there is a close finish in the road race, the team leader or the best sprinter will usually come from behind one or more team mates who will attempt to lead him at top speed towards the finish line. The most unusual track race is the Keirin, where riders draft behind a motorcycle (known as a derny) ridden by an official.

Races often feature close finishes at high speed, with track cyclists reaching speeds of up to 70km per hour. Velodromes are enclosed and compact, which makes for a very exciting atmosphere.

The 15th Asian Games features eight track events and three road events for men, and four track events and two road events for women.


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