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Velodrome track markings

Understanding Velodrome Track Markings


Velodrome cycling is a thrilling, fast-paced sport that requires precision and skill. To ensure fair competition and safety, velodrome tracks are marked with specific patterns and colors. These track markings serve various purposes, such as indicating distances, providing guidance for riders, and preventing collisions. In this article, we will delve into the different types of velodrome track markings and their significance in enhancing the overall experience for both athletes and spectators.

The Importance of Velodrome Track Markings

Velodrome track markings play a crucial role in facilitating smooth and efficient race events. These markings not only help cyclists navigate the track accurately but also enable judges to measure lap times and enforce race regulations. By adhering to standard track markings, cyclists can avoid collisions and accidents, ensuring the safety of everyone involved.

Main Track Markings

The main track markings in a velodrome include the sprinter’s line, the pursuit line, the start/finish line, and the track apron. Each of these markings serves a specific purpose and assists in different aspects of the sport.

Sprinter’s Line: This is a bold, continuous white line located 90 centimeters from the inner edge of the track. It indicates the separation between the sprinting lane and the rest of the track. Cyclists on the inside of the sprinter’s line have exclusive rights to the sprinting lane during specific events. This marking ensures fairness and minimizes interference during sprint races, imposing additional challenges on competitors aiming to overtake.

Pursuit Line: Similar to the sprinter’s line, the pursuit line is a bold white line located further towards the outer edge of the track. It is positioned at a distance of 2 meters from the inner edge of the track. The pursuit line indicates the separation between the pursuit lane and the rest of the track. In pursuit races, riders are prohibited from crossing this line, helping to maintain the integrity of the event and ensuring a level playing field.

Start/Finish Line: As the name suggests, the start/finish line marks the beginning and end of a lap. It is often represented by a bold white line stretching across the width of the velodrome track. This marking is essential for accurately measuring lap times, determining race winners, and indicating when riders need to sprint or conserve energy during race events.

Track Apron: The track apron is the space between the inner edge of the track and the sprinter’s line. It is typically colored with a contrasting shade to the main track, helping riders gauge their position relative to the sprinting lane. The track apron is often used during warm-up sessions or as a designated area for riders to rejoin the main pack after falling behind during a race.

Additional Track Markings

Apart from the main track markings, velodromes also employ additional markings to provide more detailed guidance and information to cyclists.

Track Measurement Markings: These markings include distance indicators, often measured in meters, placed along the inner edge of the track. They help racers keep track of their position and pacing during races, enabling them to strategize and make informed decisions.

Banking Markings: Velodrome tracks are inclined to allow riders to maintain high speeds while navigating the curves. To denote the degree of banking, markings are placed on the track surface. Usually, these markings consist of colored lines or gradients that indicate the transition from a flat section to an inclined banking curve. By observing these markings, riders can adjust their cycling techniques accordingly to maintain stability and maximize their performance.

Quotes from Expert Cyclists

“I find the track markings extremely helpful during races. Whether it’s the sprinter’s line or the pursuit line, they provide clear indications of where I should be to avoid interference and maintain fair competition.” – Sarah Thompson, Professional Cyclist

“I rely on the track measurement markings to manage my pacing during races. They serve as valuable reference points, helping me gauge how far I’ve traveled and how much energy I need to conserve for specific segments.” – David Patterson, Olympic Cyclist


Velodrome track markings are not merely aesthetics; they are instrumental in ensuring fair competition, enhancing safety, and providing guidance to both cyclists and race officials. By understanding the different track markings and their significance, athletes can excel in their performances, and spectators can fully appreciate the dynamics of velodrome cycling. So next time you visit a velodrome or watch a thrilling race, take a moment to appreciate the thought and precision behind the track markings that contribute to this exhilarating sporting experience.

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