Track cycling

Track is one of the purest forms of bike racing. With no brakes, gears or potholes to worry about, all a track rider needs to concentrate on is beating their opponents. It is an ideal place for a young cyclist to start as a banked cycling track provides a traffic and pedestrian free environment on which to learn key cycling skills and tactics.

>>> Read more about Olympic cycling

There are many different types of races on the track - several of which are explained in our guide to track racing - all of which will be classified as either a sprint or endurance event. Like road cycling, it means there's a race to suit every type of rider - except climbers.

Although track racing doesn't have the major annual events like the Tour de France to boost its appeal, it is the cornerstone of cycling in the Olympic movement with events such as the team pursuit and sprint dating back to the the early 19 hundreds. The International calendar of World Cups runs through the winter, culminating with the world championships in February or March, while events on outdoor tracks continue through the summer, making it a year-round sport.

Key riders: Laura Trott (GBR) | Jason Kenny (GBR) | Sir Bradley Wiggins (GBR) | Anna Meares (AUS) | Francois Pervis (FRA)

Key reading: British Cycling's lottery funded revolution | Sir Chris Hoy's medal tally