This is what was probably my favorite event of the evening.
A real simple format. The two-person team is given three laps. The first two laps are used to accelerate and the last lap is timed. Fastest time wins.
Except in execution.
The lead rider functions the same as any leadout rider in a road race. Accelerate as smoothly as possible, block the wind and get the sprinter to the start of the sprint as fresh as possible. Then hope the sprinter gets to the line faster than anyone else.
Except with this format, sometime before or during the final lap, the lead guy is to also turn his upper body around, reach out, grab the sprinter’s arm, then slingshot him forward for more momentum.
When it works right, it’s an amazing sight to see.
When it doesn’t? Not so good, but luckily no crashes.
The velodrome was 333 meters (.20 miles) long. The fastest times for the lap were just over 19 seconds. That’s a 64kph (40 mph) average.
Although the fastest guys were accelerating all the way through the finish.