Standing race

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Standing race on the Bielefeld cycling track , standing Timo Scholz behind pacemaker Karsten Podlesch (2011)
Standing race in 1958 on the cycling track in Berlin-Weißensee , far right Manfred Klieme

The standing race is a discipline of track cycling .


Stayer (outdated long-term riders ) are cyclists who ride at a consistently high pace over longer distances (50 or 100 kilometers) on a cycling track .

Nowadays, standing races are track races in which the cyclist (the standing) rides behind a motorcycle in the slipstream . For this purpose, pacemaker machines specially equipped for this purpose are used, which drive ahead of the cyclist and give him slipstream. The rider of the motorcycle, known as a pacemaker , stands on the machine's footrests (but the name of the discipline is not derived from this, see below), so that he creates the largest possible slipstream. Instead of the bench, the motorcycles are equipped with a raised support and extended handlebar ends. In standing races, speeds of sometimes over 100 km / h are achieved and maintained over longer sections.

The racing cyclists are not connected to the pacemakers, but are kept at a distance from the motorcycle by a spacer roller. Their locomotion takes place exclusively through their footwork. The racing cyclist tries to stay as close as possible to the role of the pacemaker motorcycle in front of him in order to get as much slipstream as possible. If he loses close contact with the pacemaker, the driver comes “off the roll” (hence the phrase “being off the roll”).

Standing races also often take place as part of six-day races .

Origin and development

Standing Bruno Demke with pacemaker (1905)
The French standing master Paul Bourotte behind a five-wheel ( quintuplet ) as a pacemaker (1897)

The term “stayer” is derived from the English “stayer”, that is, someone with perseverance ( to stay “to stop, to stay”). The term was and is used in horse racing to distinguish between short-distance (flying) and long-distance races (standing races). The previously common German equivalent of "endurance race" refers to the same fact. In the early days of this sport, racing drivers first rode without a pacemaker, then with bicycles as a pacemaker, namely special four, five or six-wheelers with the appropriate crew. At first it was less about racing against each other than about records: top speeds, time per route and distance per time - often over very long distances (100 kilometers lowest limit) and times (24 hours and more), so that "to stay" or “Continuous driving” could actually be taken literally. From the end of the 19th century, motorcycles were finally used as a pacemaker.

Standing races were extremely dangerous, especially in the period up to World War II , as the material, especially the tires, was still faulty and there were many falls in which the stayers or pacemakers were either seriously injured or killed. (see list of fatally injured cyclists as well as the racetrack disaster in Berlin )

With the noise of the motors, acoustical communication between the pacemaker and the stalker is only possible by means of short, previously defined calls. Pacemakers use helmets with ear flaps open to the rear.

Today, the audience response to stay-on races is no longer as great as it was in the 20th century, when tens of thousands of visitors came to the cycle racing tracks, but they still fascinate many people. German strongholds include Erfurt , Bielefeld , Nuremberg (until 2017), Forst and Leipzig .

In 1993 the separation between professionals and amateurs was abolished. As in other disciplines of track cycling, the standing world championships were held in the new elite class . The last standing world champion of the amateurs was the Berlin Carsten Podlesch , who finished third in the first elite competition in 1993 and again world champion in the last standing world championship of the elite in 1994. Since 1994 the UCI has not organized any more standing world championships, as standing sport is only practiced in a few European nations (mainly Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands). However, the European Standing Championships are still held annually.

Motorcycles for standing races

The motorcycles for standing races are mostly of older year of construction. The machines have a number of special properties: They have a large-volume, mostly single-cylinder, low-speed motor with a deep sound that tends to be tolerable in the hall. The torque characteristics of the engine allow rapid acceleration from low speeds. The handlebars are extended as rods to the rear to enable the best possible slipstream through an upright sitting position. At the rear of the machine there is a wide roller with ball bearings as a spacer. Standers avoid any - even brief - wheel contact with the roller, as the double braking effect can easily lead to falls.


  • Toni Theilmeier: The wild, daring hunt. The rise of professional standing sport in Germany. The early years up to 1910 (= series of publications on bicycle history. Volume 6). Kutschera, Leipzig 2009, ISBN 978-3-931965-23-5 .

See also

Wiktionary: Steher  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Web links

Commons : Standing Race  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. part Meier, The wild, reckless hunting , p.48
  3. We talk about standing sport on