Track cycling, which is contested in a velodrome, has been featured in every Olympic Games except Stockholm 1912 when the only velodrome in Stockholm was torn down to make way for the new Olympic Stadium. Women’s track events were only added to the Olympic program in Seoul 1988 with the debut of the individual sprint. For London 2012, the track cycling program was changed to make the discipline gender equal and more entertaining for spectators. It featured 10 events, five each for men and women.
This is one of the most exciting events in cycling because of the speeds its competitors reach. The event is a 2,000m paced event in which the cyclists ride behind a motorized derny, which sets the pace and gradually accelerates. The derny paces the riders for 1,400m and then pulls off the track, at which time the cyclists – up to seven of them – begin a furious sprint to the finish.