Track cycling for men has been a part of the games since the first Olympics in 1896. The women's track cycling races were included in 1988.
Some cycling events such as the 1,000m sprint and the 4,000m team pursuit have had a long history at the Olympics, while others have been dropped from the program such as the Tandem event or recently added such as the Omnium. The individual sprint is the oldest event that has been contested in every Olympics except 2004 and 2012. The team pursuit race, which was introduced in 1908, is the second oldest and still surviving race that has been contested in every Olympics except 1912.
Track cycling at the Olympics is an event that seems like the only area where the Olympic Committee doesn't seem to have a complete grasp on. A number of races get added and removed between subsequent Olympics.
There were 5 races for men and 3 for women in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, 8 for men and 4 for women in 2000, though the same events were retained for men and women in 2004, it again changed in 2008, with 7 for men and 3 for women. For the first time in 2012 London Olympics, both men and women had the same five events, and since then men and women have the same events on the program (though the actual events have changed).
Introduced in 2012 were some significant changes to the track cycling program. Removed from the program was the men's and women's individual pursuit and points race, and the men's Madison. Added to the women's program was the team sprint, team pursuit and the keirin, while Omnium was a new race for both men and women. The net result is that all event types now have competitions for both men and women: 1000m Sprint, Team Pursuit, Keirin, Omnium and Team sprint.
In 2016, the same events were conducted, though for Tokyo 2020, an additional event, the Madison has returned to the program, making it six medal events, for men and women.
Tokyo 2020 Track Cycling Events
- Keirin - cyclists sprint for victory following a speed-controlled start behind a motorized pacer.
- Madison - cycling relay race
- Omnium - The Omnium comprises six events:
Flying lap (against the clock), Points race, Elimination, Individual pursuit, Scratch race, and Time trial.
- Pursuit (team) - two teams of four riders each, race each other starting on opposite sides of the velodrome.
- Sprint (individual) - two cyclists race each other from a stationary start
- Sprint (team) - team time trial around the track
France, Great Britain, and Germany are the three countries that have dominated the track cycling events. Two cyclists from Great Britain, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny, are equally the most accomplished track cyclists. Both have won six gold medals and one silver medal.
[updated for 2021]
- More about Olympic Cycling Events
- There is more information about the sport of Cycling
- See more on the Greatest Cyclist at the Olympics.
- See also information about cycling at the Commonwealth Games.
- Tandem cycling event at the Olympics, and more discontinued Olympic cycling events.
- List of Olympic Sports