(aka ‘Miss and Out’, ‘Devil takes the hindmost’)
The elimination race is a rolling start bunch race held over a defined number of laps. The race distance is based on the number of riders entered. At a pre-determined interval, usually every two laps (on a 250m track) the last rider to cross the start/finish line is eliminated from the race and must exit the track, until such time as only one rider is left in the race and declared the winner.
On the lap prior, the starter will blow a whistle to indicate that the last rider will be eliminated as riders cross the line on the next lap.
Distance: Varies according to the number of entrants, the number of laps between elimination laps and the neutral laps at the start of the race (if any). For example, a race with 10 entrants and 1 rider eliminated every two laps will be run over 18 laps (note the race ends when the second to last rider is eliminated).
Variations: The number of laps between each elimination laps and the number of neutral laps at the start of the race will vary according to local rules.
Key Rules: You can’t pass on the cote d’azure (duckboards) to avoid elimination if you’re stuck at the back on the inside!
Tactics: Riders will try and conserve as much energy as possible throughout the race only exerting effort where necessary to avoid elimination. Riders may prefer to stay at the front of the bunch and use more energy throughout to guarantee avoiding elimination, others will use as little energy as possible and stay narrowly ahead of the last rider.
What to watch for: The panic in a rider’s eyes when they realise they are boxed in at the bottom of the track and nowhere to go to avoid elimination!