The Most Disciplined Sport in Cycling: Track Racing


Time to read 4 min

Believe it or not, track cycling has been part of the Olympics since the very first modern game in 1896. At those Athens games, there was one road race and five different track events with a total of 19 cyclists competing, all men, from five different nations. Even though the support has evolved tremendously since then–say by finally allowing women to compete starting in 1988–track racing is still held on velodromes similar to ones used back then. Which is one reason the sport has always had such an ease and appeal with the crowds. It’s a contained sport. And one where, since definitively being moved indoors at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, has increasingly become a sport of exactitude.

In track cycling, there’s a lot of precision that you can’t accomplish in the same way in other cycling disciplines (road, BMX, or mountain). The track is controlled, as are the elements. You’re riding indoors. There is no wind, no sun or rain beating down on you. There are only other cyclists (whether it’s your own team, or your opponents) and yourself to contend with. Everything else is dialed down. Always on a fixed bike (one speed). No brakes. Round and round you go, the same 250m oval stretch every time.

For Canadian track cyclist Fiona Majendie, the precision is part of why she fell in love with the sport.

“There is a lot of just practicing, riding the pace you’re going to ride over and over and over again. It’s the most controlled discipline in cycling… . You practice many, many times riding the same splits.”

“The moment I got on it I was like, 'Okay, yeah, I like the track'.”

Fiona Majendie

As a late-comer to the sport, Fiona’s track cycling career has blossomed since starting only a few years ago. Two, to be exact. 

"I never thought I would compete in cycling, never mind at the international level with the chance of going to the Olympics," says Fiona.

And yet, going to the Olympics is exactly what she's on track to accomplishing. 

Today, Fiona represents Team Canada in the Women’s Team Pursuit discipline. Her four-person team races a four kilometer sprint, each member taking turns leading out in front, their peloton hitting speeds of up to 60 km/hr (36 mph). In comparison, for instance, a professional road cyclist travels at an average of 40 km/hr (25 mph) on flat terrain. So yes, the girls go fast.

“It’s very physically demanding,” says Fiona. “Even if you’re going easy, you’re working hard. I think it’s the leg speed. I think it’s the dry air in the velodrome. There’s no real coasting on the track at all. So it’s where you go to work hard.”


Together with her three other Team Canada Team Pursuit teammates, Fiona competed in the Pan Am Games this October. They placed… [[insert team’s final results/any updates from Pan Am Games]].  Next up, she has her sights set on the Paris Summer Olympics 2024. 

And after that?

“Medical school is kind of my second life that I’m very excited to get back to after,” says Fiona.

Currently on a leave from med school as a second-year student, Fiona has goals of returning to complete her studies and carry on after achieving her Olympic track cycling dreams. Until then though, she has a plan to follow. One that includes the launch of her very own cycling team.

Drew Mechielsen BMX Canada

It's no secret that getting to the Olympics is hard. You're competing against the best in the world, fighting for a chance to just show up and participate. But the costs go beyond the physical. There's the emotional and financial toil, too. As Fiona says, “The amount of puzzle pieces that need to come together is immense.” 

Enter team [[insert team name]], Fiona's answer to those obstacles. Along with her three teammates, their hope with [[team name]] road cycling team is to create the environment necessary to accomplish their Olympic dreams. 

“I wanted to create a team, a platform, where there is complete flexibility in terms of how an athlete achieves their goals. In this case, all three of us are aiming for Paris 2024, but how we do that, in terms of which road races we do, or where we train over the winter, is completely up to the individual athlete.”

With Paris 2024 just around the corner, they are training with a serious mission. To get there, they have their legs set on a few clutch races, like the 2024 Track Nations Cup, Pan Am Champs, and various other road races and criteriums for speed work and training.

Of course, we're thrilled and honoured to be an official sponsor and partner of team [[insert team name]]. Stay tuned to catch these riders racing in their Samsara Elevated Collection custom team kits! 

Here's to the road ahead. 

BMX is scary

DYK!? Some surprising facts about Track Cycling


Women were only allowed to compete in track cycling starting in the 1988 Olympics.


In Women’s Team Pursuit, cyclists reach top speeds of up to 60 km/hr.

The oval track, known as the velodrome, is set at a 45° angle.

Track bikes have no gears - or brakes.


You have to keep pedalling to keep the bike moving. If you stop pedalling, the bike stops.


A track bicycle kitted for Olympic racers can easily cost around $25,000CAD.


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