What is a Keirin Cycling Race

A keirin cycling race is a track cycling event where cyclists sprint for victory following a pace bicycle. It originated in Japan, where it is still extremely popular, and has been part of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships program since 1980.

The Keirin Explained – GCN’s Guide To Track Cycling

A keirin cycling race is a type of race where cyclists sprint for victory following a pace-setting motorized vehicle called a derny. Keirin racing originated in Japan and has been an official Olympic sport since 2000. The format of a keirin race is simple: six to nine riders line up behind the derny on the track, with the rider in first position being directly behind the motorbike.

As the derny increases speed from 25 kilometers per hour to 50 kilometers per hour, riders jostle for position; but once the derny pulls off the track with 2.5 laps to go, it’s every man (or woman) for themselves. The first rider across the finish line wins – it’s that simple. Keirin races are exciting because they are unpredictable; anything can happen in those last 2.5 laps.

And because there are no team orders, riders are free to sprint for glory as soon as the derny leaves them behind. This makes for some spectacular finishes, with photo-finishes not uncommon. If you’re looking for an exciting spectator sport, look no further than keirin racing – you won’t be disappointed!

Keirin Cycling Rules

Keirin is a form of track cycling where cyclists sprint for the finish line following a pace-setting motorcycle. It originated in Japan and is now one of the most popular track events in international racing. The rules of keirin are simple: riders must stay behind the pacer until the final two laps, at which point they can sprint for the finish.

The winner is the rider who crosses the line first. There are typically six to eight riders in a keirin race, and each rider is assigned a position behind the motorcycle based on their ability level. The stronger riders will start closer to the front, while the weaker riders will start further back.

This ensures that all riders have a fair chance at winning. Races are typically held over distances of 2-3 kilometers, and last about two minutes. The pacing motorcycle starts at around 25 kilometers per hour and gradually increases speed until it reaches around 50 kilometers per hour by the end of the race.

This gives all riders a chance to warm up and get into their rhythm before making their final push for the finish line.

What is a Keirin Cycling Race

Credit: en.wikipedia.org

What is the Point of the Keirin in Cycling?

The point of the keirin in cycling is to allow for a fair and safe race. The cyclists start in a single file behind a motorized bicycle called a derny, which paces the riders for the first few laps before gradually accelerating. With about two laps to go, the derny pulls off the track and the cyclists sprint for the finish line.

What is the Difference between Sprint And Keirin?

When it comes to track cycling, there are two main types of events: sprints and keirin. Both require different strategies and skills, so it’s important to know the difference between them. Sprints are typically shorter races, ranging from about 200m to 1km.

They are fast-paced and relatively simple, with riders starting from a standing start and racing around a velodrome. The goal is to cross the finish line first. Keirin, on the other hand, is a Japanese race that involves up to seven riders.

It is run over a distance of 2km and starts with a motorized derny leading the way for the first few laps. The derny then pulls off and the riders battle it out for position before crossing the finish line. Because of its longer distance, keirin tends to be more tactical than sprints.

What is the Meaning of Keirin?

In Japanese, keirin literally means “racing cycle.” It is a form of motor-paced cycle racing in which cyclists ride on special track bicycles behind a motorcycle pacer. The sport was developed in Japan in 1948 and became an official Olympic sport in 2000.

Races are typically contested over two to three laps of the track and can range from 2km to 3km in length. The field is usually made up of six to eight riders, although larger fields of 12 or more are not uncommon. Riders must stay within a prescribed area behind the pacer for the first half of the race before being allowed to sprint for the finish line in the final lap.

The motorcycle pacer starts at a slow speed and gradually builds up to around 50kph over the course of two laps. At that point, the pacer pulls off the track and leaves the riders to battle it out for position until one crosses the finish line first. Keirin racing is extremely popular in Japan, where it draws large crowds and generates significant betting turnover.

It has also gained popularity elsewhere in Asia as well as Europe and Australia.

Do Keirin Bikes Have Gears?

No, Keirin bikes do not have gears. They are single-speed bicycles with a fixed gear ratio. The bike’s gearing is determined by the size of the front and rear sprockets, and cannot be changed.

This ensures that all riders are on an equal playing field, and that there is no advantage to having a higher or lower gear ratio.


A keirin cycling race is a type of racing where cyclists sprint for a finish line while being paced by motorized vehicles. It is a popular form of racing in Japan, and has been gaining popularity in other countries as well.

About Ben Miller

Ben Miller is a writer and editor for activesporttours.com. ActiveSportTours website provides various information and updates news on sports, athletes, venues, and more.

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