Olympic track cycling explainer: Keirin

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Olympics – Yolo BedTime

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Final: August 5th (women), August 8th (men).

How it works: Six or fewer drivers start from a standing start, either held by helpers or holding on to the edge of the velodrome. After departure, the drivers line up behind an e-motorcycle and are arranged in a sequence determined by the lot before the event. The motorcycle brings the rider up to speed over three laps and reaches a speed of 50 km / h. Then the pacemaker sets off and lets the drivers compete against each other in the last three laps, with the first driver winning over the finish line.

There are 30 riders in the Olympic Games and the first two riders to cross the finish line in the opening lap advance to the next lap. Four drivers advance in the second lap, with the third lap determining which drivers are vying for the medals.

What to look out for: Positioning in the line-up is of the utmost importance for the Keirin. So look closely at the riders accelerating after the motorcycle has started to see how they bump and jostle for the best spot. Once the bike takes off there is usually a rider trying to surprise the crowd, while the more experienced sprinters often wait for the final push to the finish line. Keep track of which sprinters have the patience and the nerve to wait until the last moment to accelerate.

Favorite men: Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands), Jason Kenny (Great Britain), Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia)

Favorite women: Lee Wai Sze (Hong Kong), Kaarle McCulloch (Australia), Emma Hinze (Germany)

North Americans: Lauriane Genest, Kelsey Mitchell, Hugo Barrette, Nick Wammes (Canada), Maddie Godby (USA)

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