Starting Track Cycling

Track cycling in South Africa continues to see growing interest amongst riders from other disciplines, as well as those who are first-timers on a bicycle. High Performance Manager and former National Track cycling Champion, Martin van Wyk said: “Starting track Cycling is a lot easier and safer than most people are led to believe and is an excellent way to introduce young riders to the sport of cycling for obvious reasons.”

Van Wyk outlined the benefits of the sport, and began by putting heavy emphasis on the fact that it takes place in a controlled environment without the danger of cars and traffic. “Parents and families can either join in (as there is no age limit in track cycling), or they can watch. Their children are always within reach and never out of sight,” he added.

“Many of the world’s top cyclists have all had a background in track cycling - Mark Cavendish, Bradley Wiggens, Geraint Thomas, Rohan Dennis to mention a few,” said van Wyk. South African sprint ace, Team Telkom's Nolan Hoffman also grew up on the track, and often uses it to stay sharp and focused on the road.

Van Wyk went into further detail about the benefits of track cycling, and said that the sport improves cadence, pedalling, efficiency, bike handling skills, sprinting and top-end speed. “It’s also spectator-friendly, there is basic equipment involved, with cheaper and less maintenance,” added van wyk

He spoke briefly about track meetings: “You get to practice a bunch sprint finish four to five times at a track meeting, unlike road, where you only get one chance in a 120km race. Chances are, if there is a track rider in a break, he has a better chance of winning because he is more tactically aware.”

In many of the other cycling disciplines (Road, Mountain biking, BMX) there are often only three medals up for grabs for each age group, but in track cycling, there are close to eighteen to be won per age group because of the number of events involved.

For more information about track cycling, and to find a club near to you, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/where-do-i-start-track/