Tokyo Olympics: What is the omnium track cycling and how to watch? Tempo, elimination, points and scratch races
Track cycling continues to offer us plenty of thrilling races and high drama at the Izu velodrome and that's set to continue when the omnium begins. Riders, including Great Britain’s Laura Kenny as the defending female champion, will compete in four different types of racing. You want it? We have it. Stream every Olympic event live on discovery+
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Essentially, the omnium comprises four different cycling events in one medal.
The four separate events are: the scratch race, the tempo race, the elimination race and the points race.
At the end of the first three events, riders accumulate points based on where they finish and these are then carried into the final points race.
In the points race, athletes may lose or gain points from their total, and the winner is the rider with the most points at the end of the fourth event.
Rio 2016 consisted of a six-event competition but Tokyo 2020 has been shortened to four events held over one day for both men and women.
What is the scratch race in omnium cycling?
This is the most straightforward of all the races with the first rider across the line winning and taking maximum points – there are no extra points for lapping the field.
The men's races are 10 kilometres, the women's 7.5km.
The elimination race provides plenty of excitement on the sprint laps
Image credit: Getty Images
What is the tempo race in omnium cycling?
Points are earned here in sprints and by lapping the field and the rider with the most points at the end wins.
After four laps to get warmed up, there is a sprint every lap where the first rider across the line gets one point, including on the final sprint.
Should a rider manage to lap the field they will earn 20 points – and those that are lapped will be deducted the same amount.
What is the elimination race in omnium cycling?
This one really is a case of don't get left behind. There are sprints every other lap and the rider in last position at the end of each of those is eliminated from the race.
It's a case of last man or woman standing wins the maximum points.
Bikes are fitted with a light that sits on their stem and will blink to inform the rider if they are eliminated and they must immediately move away from the field to allow the others to race.
Laura Kenny already has four gold medals to her name
Image credit: Getty Images
What is the points race in omnium cycling?
The riders take their accumulated points into the final event which lasts 25km for men and 20km for women.
Every 10 laps there is a sprint worth five, three, two and one points mid-race with these totals being doubled in the final lap.
Like the tempo race, 20 points are awarded if a rider laps the field and 20 deducted if the rider is lapped.
The points earned from the points race will be added to or subtracted from the overall points earned from the first three events and the rider with the most points overall at the finish wins the gold medal in the omnium.
How to watch track cycling at the Olympics
There's set to be over 3,500 hours of action throughout the 17 days of competition and discovery+’s live event feeds are on hand to bring you all the action this summer.