Race Guide

Race Guide

Track racing can seem confusing – particularly for newer fans – so here's a handy guide to some of the main events in the Revolution Series from the experts at Cycling Weekly.


Matches are contested between two riders who cover three laps of the track. The first rider over the line wins, best of three races wins the match. Tactics play a huge part in sprint racing. Track-stands – where the riders come to a standstill in a bid to get their rival to lead out the sprint – are common, as are sudden turns of speed.


This is the one with the motorbike – called a Derny – that paces a field of up to seven riders round the track. The Derny leads the field for the first 1,400 metres taking the speed up to 50 km/h, before peeling off and leaving the riders to sprint it out.


Inspired by the Marymoor Crawl, which takes place each year at the Marymoor Grand Prix in the US, the rules to the Revolution Longest Lap are simple: riders start on the finish straight but must not cross the finish line for between 3 and 4 minutes (only the starter knows the exact time). If they put a foot down or touch another rider they are eliminated. Once the time is up, the starter's gun is fired and the race is on – an all-out one-lap sprint for victory.


Also known as 'devil take the hindmost', the elimination is where the last rider across the line after every lap (individual) or every other lap (team) goes out of the race. Some riders jostle for a safe spot higher up the field, while others purposely ride at the back to 'play the devil' – sprinting at the last second to pass other riders and dump them out of the race. The tension builds lap after lap as the field is whittled down to the final two riders who sprint for the win. 


An exciting, mass-start all-out race. If no riders gain a lap during the race it comes down to a bunch sprint. The men race over 15km, the women 10km.


A 'Kilo' with a difference – the first rider completes half the distance before slinging in his teammate for the second half. A good changeover is vital.


This is a mass-start race. Intermediate sprints are held every 10 laps, with five, three, two and one point on offer to the first four over the line. If a rider laps the field he gains 20 points. The rider with the most points at the end of the race wins – the finishing sprint only counts if riders are tied on points.


The Derny Race sees riders race behind their pacemakers – assigned by draw – on a 'derny' or lightweight motorbike. The rider effectively races in the slipstream of the derny allowing them to go faster than normal. Often a rider will determine his tactic with the pacemaker beforehand because communicating over the motor and crowd's roar is difficult. The pacemaker/rider combination that passes the finish line first wins.