Track Cycling 101: the rainbow stripes, AKA the rainbow jersey
Just like with most cycling disciplines, once you understand what's going on in track cycling, you fall in love with its beauty, its speed, and wonder where it's been all your life (said by a totally objective writer, of course (coughs)). 50,000 tickets have been sold for this year's track worlds, so it can't just be this writer who loves it.
In every cycling discipline, world champions are awarded a gold medal and the "rainbow stripes" on the podium i.e. the jersey with the colours of the rainbow on it. OK, so it's not a rainbow, the stripes are blue, red, black (NOT a colour) yellow and green.
Cyclists covet the rainbow stripes just as much as Olympic medals and have done so for decades. Some fans even prefer the UCI World Track Cycling Championships to Olympic track cycling (but that's a story for another day).
Track Cycling 101: the two discplines - sprint and endurance
Track cycling is split into its own two disciplines: sprint and endurance events. As each discipline requires a whole different set of twitch fibres and energy systems, nations' track teams are furthermore split into sprint and endurance teams. For example, Anna Meares is on the sprint team and would never race the team pursuit, an endurance event. Got it?
To make it easier, we've split up the disciplines for you in the tabs below, along with associated events and the Aussie riders to watch and follow. But generally:
Aussie women's sprint team - four gold medal/rainbow stripes on offer
Aussie women's endurance team - four gold medal/rainbow stripes on offer
(Note: there is a fifth endurance event, the scratch race, but Australia is not entering a rider as it falls on the same day as the team pursuit qualifying round)
SBS Coverage Thursday 3 - 7 March:
Live on SBS2 and streamed live online at Cycling Central at the following times (check your local guides)
Thursday 3 March: 0630 – 0830 AEDT
Friday 4 March: 0600 – 0800 AEDT
Saturday 5th March: 0630 – 0845 AEDT
Sunday 6th March: 0550 – 0915 AEDT
Monday 7th March: 0100 – 0500 AEDT