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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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The Basics

  • 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.


  • Cycling has been in every Olympic Games, dating back to 1896. France is the most successful nation, with 90 medals, whilst Great Britain is in third place; Italy is second. Team GB has won 87 medals, 32 of which were gold.
  • The three most successful Olympic cyclists ever are British – Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny have won 22 medals between them, including 17 golds. Team GB have been dominant in recent years, winning eight golds in 2012 and six in 2016.
  • Paralympics GB have also enjoyed plenty of success in cycling. In Rio we won 21 medals, 12 of which were gold, narrowly failing to surpass the 22 medals we won four years earlier in London.

Famous Competitors

  • Sir Bradley Wiggins – the five-time Olympic gold medallist and one-time Tour de France winner had written his name in the history books long before retiring in 2016. Wiggo, who also won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award in 2013, is one of the most successful versatile cyclists ever, having won medals on both the track and on the road throughout his career.
  • Sir Chris Hoy – a six-time Olympic gold medallist, the Scotsman dominated Olympic track cycling between 2004 and 2012, albeit with his most successful Games coming in Beijing when he took home three medals. Hoy’s achievements have been recognised on multiple occasions, as he won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award in 2008 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. 

National Governing Body

British Cycling – please click here for more information.


  • Intra-School Primary: Competition Card
  • Intra-School Primary: Challenge Card
  • Intra-School Secondary 
  • Local Inter-School

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