Sports Medicine

, Volume 31, Issue 7, pp 457–468 | Cite as

Characteristics of Track Cycling

  • Neil P. CraigEmail author
  • Kevin I. Norton
Review Article


Track cycling events range from a 200m flying sprint (lasting 10 to 11 seconds) to the 50km points race (lasting ⊄ 1 hour).Unlike road cycling competitions where most racing is undertaken at submaximal power outputs, the shorter track events require the cyclist to tax maximally both the aerobic and anaerobic (oxygen independent) metabolic pathways. Elite track cyclists possess key physical and physiological attributes which are matched to the specific requirements of their events: these cyclists must have the appropriate genetic predisposition which is then maximised through effective training interventions. With advances in technology it is now possible to accurately measure both power supply and demand variables under competitive conditions. This information provides better resolution of factors that are important for training programme design and skill development.


Power Output Average Power Output Individual Pursuit Track Event Sprint Cyclist 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Mr Charlie Walsh and Australia’s elite track cyclists for their willingness to participate in a number of studies during the last 15 years.


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Copyright information

© Adis International Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Track Cycling Unit AdelaideAustralian Institute of SportHenley BeachAustralia
  2. 2.School of Physical Education, Exercise and Sport StudiesUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

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