How to get into track cycling

Home » Track cycling

Introduction to track cycling

Track cycling is all about speed, stamina, technique, tactics and nerve. British Cycling supports newcomers to track cycling, helping riders to progress from the induction through an accreditation system.

Track cycling has brought more glory to Britain than any other event in recent Olympic history.

Sir Chris Hoy, Dame Sarah Storey, Laura Trott and Jason Kenny are just some of the athletes that have helped to create an aura of invincibility around the British team in recent years.

Following track cycling has never been easier as Britain regularly plays host to both domestic and international events, including the Revolution Series, masters events and European and world championships.

Fans can get within touching distance of their favourite riders and, even when the track is quiet, there is always something to watch as the riders and coaches populate the track centre during the meetings.

The UK has a lot to offer those considering taking up track cycling, with taster sessions available at world class indoor velodromes, such as the National Cycling Centre in Manchester which houses the British team.

There are also outdoor tracks which offer a different track cycling experience; the Herne Hill velodrome is less steeply banked than the Olympic standard tracks and would therefore be an ideal place to learn the techniques of the sport.

British Cycling support newcomers to track cycling, helping riders to progress from the induction through an accreditation system.

On passing this riders will be qualified to take part in more advanced structured training sessions and to race.

Becoming a member means that you are fully supported to race, ride or follow track cycling.

Get into track cycling - image
Get into track cycling venue - image

The venue

The National Cycling Centre in Manchester is home to the British track team and plays host to a great deal of their training.

The Lee Valley Velopark was built for London 2012 and still hosts high profile international track meets. The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow and the Wales National Velodrome in Newport are the bases of Scottish and Welsh Cycling respectively whilst the newly constructed Derby Velodrome has already played host to the Revolution Series. Calshot Velodrome in Southampton is the smallest indoor velodrome in the United Kingdom at just 142m long.

Track cycling takes place on indoor and outdoor oval tracks ranging from less than 200 to over 400 metres in length, with surfaces made from a variety of materials including wood, tarmac and concrete. Tracks are banked to varying degrees to enable riders to maintain high speeds.

Olympic standard venues are indoor 250 metre wooden tracks with coloured bands painted at various intervals up the track.

The lowest black line defines the length of the track, 90cm above that is the red sprinter's line; the gap between black and red marks the optimum route around the track.

At a minimum of 250cm, or halfway up the track, there is a blue line called the stayer's line, used in stayer races (races behind pacemaker-motorbikes) as a separation line.

Find a velodrome or track

Track cycling events

Get involved with track cycling