500m/1000m Time Trial
This event pits the rider against the clock for one standing-start, flat-out kilometre for men and 500m for women. The rider needs the right gear, a fast start and most important, the ability to fight through the pain of the last few hundred metres. Gord Singleton and Jocelyn Lovell are two of Canada’s’ (and Ontario’s) World Championship medal winners in this event. Curt Harnett’s first Olympic medal, in 1984, was also in the Kilo.
In the sprint, two or sometimes three riders jockey for position before a final mad dash to the finish. This jockeying lends the event a strange atmosphere as riders crawl around the track or even stop and balance while trying to force their opponent into a disadvantageous position. Tactical skill, nerve and finally sheer power are the main requirements for a sprinter. Curt Harnett, and Gord Singleton, both of Ontario, won many medals for Canada in the match sprint, including silver medals at the World Championships. A related type of sprint event, the Keirin, is a crowd-pleasing track event in which up to 7 or 8 riders draft up to speed behind a motor-pace vehicle before sprinting for the finish in the last few laps. Gord Singleton is the 1982 World Keirin Champion. Curt Harnett also holds the world record in the Flying 200m event, used a qualifying event for the Sprint. His record time is 9.865 seconds, averaging approx. 73 kmph.
In the pursuit, two riders, or two teams of four riders in the Team Pursuit, begin on opposite sides of the track and attempt to catch each other over a 3000m or 4000m distance. As the riders are usually well matched, they seldom do catch each other, and so the event becomes a time trial with the fastest rider or team winning. Karen Strong-Hearth of Ontario won World Championship medals in individual pursuit.