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Summer Olympic Games: Ten Track Cycling Terms to Know During the London Olympics

Yahoo Contributor Network

Track cycling is contested in an indoor track, often referred to as a velodrome. At the London 2012 Olympic Games, 10 track cycling events will be contested, including several brand new events. Here's an easy guide to help casual fans decipher some of the terminology during the events at the Games.

Apex: The apex is the middle of the curve. Located at the curved ends of the track, the apex represents the sharpest part of the curve.

Apron: The apron is the flat section at the bottom of the track. It is 5 meters wide.

Cabins: A cabin is the area in the infield where a rider takes his or her bike for maintenance.

Derny: A derny is a motorcycle used for pacing riders during a keiren race.

Gear Ratio

: The term gear ration refers to "the number of cogs on the front chainring divided by the number of cogs on the rear sprocket," according to the official London 2012 website.

Keiren: The keiren event features cyclists riding behind a derny as they gradually increase their speed throughout the race. Shortly before the end of the race, the derny leaves the track and riders sprint to the finish line.

Omnium: Omnium is one of the new events that will be contested at the 2012 Olympic Games. The event involves six different contests or events, including a flying lap, a points race, an elimination race, an individual pursuit, a scratch race and a time trial. The rider with the fewest points at the end of the events is declared the winner.

Team Pursuit: Team pursuit is one of the track cycling Olympic events. It was first contested as a men's event in 1908, and it will be held as a women's event for the first time in 2012. The event features teams of four riders beginning on opposite sides of the track. The goal is to either catch the other team or finish the distance with the fastest time.

UCI: UCI stands for Union Cycliste Internationale, or International Cycling Union. The union is the international governing body for all cycling sports and has the responsibility of creating and enforcing track cycling rules.


: A velodrome is the arena in which track cyclists compete. Velodromes usually have two banked curves and two straights, which create an oval-shaped track.

Sandra Johnson is a longtime Olympic fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46.

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