A velodrome is an arena created to allow spectators to watch British cyclists ride at very high speeds with a few unfortunate competitors following at a polite distance. The more successful of these competitors may be awarded silver or bronze medals if they are not left in pieces all over the velodrome. Modern velodromes feature steeply banked oval tracks, consisting of two 180-degree circular bends connected by two straights, a flagpole with the Union Flag attached to it, and God Save the Queen on auto repeat.
Some of the most common race formats include:
- Individual pursuit The Brits start at opposite sides of the track and try to catch each other
- Team pursuit As above, but in two teams of four guys looking like a freight train of aliens
- Sprint Game of cat and mouse in which the bulldog always wins
- Team sprint Three Brits against a clock
- Handicap British rides have to ride tricycles and everyone else rides a motorbike. The result is the same.
- Motor-paced events, such as Keirin racing - cyclists draft behind a Japanese guy on a motor scooter, before he pulls off and Chris Hoy wins
Notable British cyclists
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