Keirin explained

Keirin is a cycle race in which sprint track cyclists race behind a pacer (in the case of London 2012, a motorbike). Riders are allocated starting positions behind the pacer and will sprint for a predetermined number of laps.

The keirin didn’t become an Olympic sport until the Sydney 2000 Olympics and London 2012 is the first Games to feature women’s keirin. Go on Victoria Pendleton!

Olympic cycling team pursuit explained

The team pursuit begins with a qualifying round after which the winners of the two heats between the top four teams advance to the finals.

The slowest six teams are ranked according to their times from the first round and the fastest two of those will compete for bronze.

In the race proper, teams try to cover the distance in the fastest time or to catch and overtake the other team in a final.

Riders stay closely in line and periodically the lead rider peels off the front, swings up the track banking and rejoins the team at the rear.

The winning team is decided by the time of the last rider.

Men’s team pursuit consists of 16 laps with a team of four riders, while women’s team pursuit is 12 laps with only three riders.