15 May
Finding the best line for the flying 200m sprint on the velodrome

I searched the world wide web and really could not find any definitive advice on the best line to take around the track to maximize speed with less effort.

So, here is my own theory. Try it for yourself and see.

I have seen every single sprinter go all the way to the outside of turn 2 then zig-zag across the track at the 200m line to make sure they hit the timing tape. This looks awkward and silly. The line they take is longer and shallower than dropping down at the apex of turn 2. See the diagram.

On the first lap, come out onto the track and stay in the middle, above the blue line, until turn 4. Go up to the rail between turn 3 and 4. That will be the easiest transition into turn 4 without losing speed by going uphill at turn 3.
After turn 4, drop down to mid track and up to the rail in turn 2, avoiding the uphill climb at turn 1.

Where the black line would intersect turn 2 if it went all the way up to the rail, make a sharp left turn (lean) and drop down the steepest part of the banking.

If you take a cross section at the track on the orange line, it is the steepest slope, where you will get the most speed. If you go wide on turn 2 then zig across the track, you will not get the most speed advantage from gravity.

Steeper hill = more gravity = faster speed

This approach will be similar on different sized tracks, just that the start and finish will be at different points. But the theory is the same. Avoid the uphill parts that slow you down. Obviously, shorter tracks will be a bit more exaggerated.

(This image is from a 250m track.)

If you have any theories or hypotheses of your own, I would love to hear them.

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