Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: The Bike Business!!!
Bikes: Cannondale Super Six High Mod, Evo, Sram Red, CAAD9 Rival
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In the Olympics, it is 4km in distance. Two riders start at opposite sides of the track, one at the start line, the other across the track. The event is to try to catch the other rider before that rider gets the 4k done. At this level that usually does not happen, so it's the shortest time to cover the distance that wins.
In other words, it's a 4k sprint race on the velodrome.
And no mountains to cross....
The races can be varying distances, especially at the junior levels, but typically they are 4k at the world/pro level.