It was a fast and busy weekend at Alkek Velodrome this weekend. Starting with regular Friday Night Racing and continuing into Saturday night with Texas Cup Keirin racing.
Keirin racing is one of the fastest, most exciting types of track racing. The day begins with flying laps to determine the qualifying heats.
The flying lap
Once seeded into heats (typically 6 riders), the racers line up and, from a standing start, get into the draft of a motor bike (pace bike) as it brings them up to speed over the course of 4 laps. With 2 laps remaining the motor pulls in and the riders have 2 laps to sprint to the finish. Lots of speed, lots of strategy, lots of close racing. And this year's Texas Cup Keirin races were as exciting as ever.
The motor bike starts the men at 18mph and drops them off at 31mph with 2 laps remaining. For the women, the race begins at 15mph and the motor takes them to 28mph before pulling off with 2 laps to go. From there, the action gets really exciting as racers try to make moves to the front or hold off attacks.