Breaking Down the Olympic Cycling Events

AP Photo

The Summer Olympics seem to have something for everyone, featuring 26 sports and 39 disciplines overall.

Cycling is well-represented, with four different disciplines and 18 gold medals at stake in the 2012 London Games.

Here's a breakdown of each of the events offered at the Olympic games:

More: 10 Tips for Beginning Road Racers

Road Cycling

The road cycling events start July 28th with the men's road race, continues July 29th with the women's road race and wraps up August 1st with both the men's and women's individual time trials.

The road race is a 250K course for men (155 miles) and a 140K course for women (87 miles). The time trial, which has 90-second interval starts, goes 44K for men (27.3 miles) and 29K for women (18 miles).

The United States' Kristin Armstrong won gold in the women's time trial in 2008, while Levi Leiphemier took bronze in the men's time trial.

More: 10 Common Time Trial Mistakes

Track Cycling

Starting August 2nd at the Velodrome, 10 Olympic track cycling events will be spread out over six days—five for men, five for women.

The events are:

  • The Sprint is a three-lap race featuring two riders at a time.
  • The Keirin is a seven-person race that breaks out after a motorcycle pace.
  • The Team Sprint (teams of three for men and teams of two for women).
  • The Team Pursuit (16 laps for men, 12 for women) where teams start on opposite sides of the track and try to catch one another.
  • The Omnium, an Olympic first, which is a six-event competition (similar to a decathlon in track) where riders get points for placement in each event.
  • There will be 188 track cycling competitors in London—104 men, 84 women. Each country can have nine men and seven women, which translates one athlete or team in each event.

    Great Britain dominated track cycling in 2008, getting 12 total medals and seven of the 10 total golds. The United States did not medal in Beijing.

More: Improve Your Skills on the Velodrome

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About the Author

Ryan Wood

Ryan Wood is an editor for Active.com. He enjoys a good ride and loves participating in endurance events throughout the year. Follow him on Google+.

Ryan Wood is an editor for Active.com. He enjoys a good ride and loves participating in endurance events throughout the year. Follow him on Google+.

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