Sport cycling involves the racing of bicycles – either on a track or on outdoor terrain, with different variations suiting different styles of racer. Some racers will also compete over a multitude of different formats, known as an omnium.
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What is cycling?

Track cycling is predominately held in specially built banked tracks, known as velodromes. There are different types of races – including a straight sprint, or more complex variations that involve catching up to or overtaking an opponent within a set time.

One of the most popular Olympic track cycling events, the omnium, involves six races: a scratch race (first to finish), an individual pursuit, an elimination race, a time trial, a flying lap against the clock, and a points race, where points are awarded based on a rider's performance during each lap.

Road cycling is the more traditional format. Races are usually over much longer distances and are a test of stamina as much as they are speed and skill. In recent years, the Olympic Games have also included a BMX race over a short and challenging track.

Find out more about how to run cycling formats.

    Equipment needed

    • Cones
    • Age-suitable bikes
    • Suitable outdoor space (e.g. playing field)

    A brief history of cycling

    Cycling has been in every Olympic Games, dating back to 1896. France is the most successful nation, with 93 medals, with Great Britain is in second place with 100 medals, 38 of which were gold.

    The four most successful Olympic cyclists ever are British; Jason Kenny, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy, Laura Kenny have won 47 medals between them, including 23 golds.

    Paralympics GB have also enjoyed plenty of success in cycling. In Rio, Great Britain won 21 medals, 12 of which were gold, narrowly failing to surpass the 22 medals won four years earlier in London.

    Get involved

    The School Games is inclusive to all young people and provides opportunities for everyone to get involved, either within school, against other local schools, or at county or regional level.

    School Games Organisers

    School Games Organisers (SGO) help schools coordinate appropriate competitive opportunities for all young people from Key Stage 2-4, to recruit, train and deploy a suitable workforce, and to support the development of club.

    Sign up to find your local SGO

    Quick and easy cycling activity resources

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