How the race works

How the race works

The madison is a race in which 17 pairs of riders race over a hectic 200 laps of the Tom Flood Sports Centre.  Riders firstly try to gain a lap advantage over other teams or score sprint points during the 34 sprints dotted throughout the race.  At any one time there are riders sprinting, changing or attacking in this frantic event.

The pairings change or sling each other into the race about every lap and a half and only one rider from the pairing is in the race at a time.  Tactics play a huge part and at times can be utterly confusing to watch.

To put it simply the race can be won in a number of ways.  A lap can be gained on the field.  If one or more pairings take a lap on the field all other teams are then a lap down.  Once the lap has been granted the sprints which are on offer are then open to all in the field, not just to those laps up.

If no teams gain laps it becomes a sprint race.  Points in the sprints awarded are 5, 3, 2 & 1.  These points are accumulated throughout the event.

If no laps are taken it is the team with the highest points who wins.  If some teams are on the same lap again it is down to the points scored from the sprints.  If one team is one lap up on everyone else then the points will not come into it as they have covered the distance quicker.

It can be confusing but if you watch the scoreboard and listen to the commentators you soon pick up who the teams are to watch in this magnificent event.