Individual pursuit

The individual pursuit is a track cycling event where two cyclists begin the race from a stationary position on opposite sides of the track. It is held at over 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) for men and 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) for women. The riders start at the same time and set off to complete the race distance in the fastest time. They ride on the pursuit line at the bottom of the track to find the fastest line, with each rider trying to catch the other who started on the other side. If the catch is achieved, the successful pursuer is the winner. However, they can continue the rest of the race distance to set the fastest time in a qualifying race or a record in a final.

Qualification and race formatEdit

The first round of the competition at major events is the qualifying round. This still involves two riders on the track at the same time but they are not directly competing against each other but attempting to set the fastest time to progress in the competition. In the Olympic Games the top riders progress into knock out rounds, with the top two surviving into the Gold and Silver medal race and next two into the Bronze Medal race. In the World Championships or World Cup Classic events, the top two riders from the qualifying round progress directly to the Gold and Silver medal race while the third and fourth qualifiers fight it out for Bronze.

As of 2009, the IOC "approved a UCI recommendation to restructure track events at the 2012 Games in London, including the abandonment of individual pursuit events."[1]

Notable individual pursuitersEdit


The last men's Olympic champion in this event was Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins. As of 2022, the men's world champion is Italy's Filippo Ganna.[2]


The last women's Olympic champion in this event was Great Britain's Rebecca Romero. As of 2020, the women's world champion in this event is American Chloé Dygert.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Pelkey, Charles (10 December 2009). "IOC drops individual pursuit". VeloNews. Competitor Group. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  2. ^ "World Championship, Track, Pursuit, Elite". Cycling Archives. de Wielersite. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  3. ^ "World Championship, Track, Pursuit, Elite (F)". Cycling Archives. de Wielersite. Retrieved 24 April 2015.