Track events

Cyclists racing at a velodrome ©Getty

Cyclists racing at a velodrome ©Getty

These races are held indoors on a sloping track called a velodrome. The bikes used in track events have only one gear and no brakes.

In track events, the racing cyclists go around the velodrome many times. Each time they go around the velodrome is a lap.

In some events, two cyclists or two teams race each other. They start at opposite sides of the track and try to catch up with each other. In some track events the cyclists race for 1000 metres and the fastest one wins.

Road Events

Women’s road cycling event. ©

Women’s road cycling event. ©

These races are on public roads. The bikes used in road races can have up to 14 gears and brakes. Male cyclists ride about 250 kilometres and female cyclist race over 130 kilometres.

Watch a video about road events at the Olympics. 

Mountain bike racing

Mountain bike racing was added to the Olympic Games at Atlanta in 1996.

In Tokyo in 2020 men will race over 250 kilometres. Women cyclist will race over 130 kilometres.

Mountain bike race ©iStock

Mountain bike race ©iStock

Mountain bikes are different from road and track bikes. They are heavier. The riders are on a rough track with many hills and turns.

Did you know?   While racing, mountain bike riders must make all repairs to their bikes themselves.

Read more about Olympic cycling:

Read the kidcyber page :

BMX (bicycle motocross)