The two-man team driving has existed since 1899. At that time the two-man teams were introduced in six-day races after these races had been carried out around the clock by a single driver. The first race with teams of two took place in New York's Madison Square Garden , which is why this form of competition is still called Madison in German and is called Americaine or similar in many other languages .
For over 100 years, two-man team driving was a purely male domain and until 2016 this discipline was only held for men at the World Championships and the Olympic Games . Since the 2010s, however, some national associations have also organized national championships in two-man team driving for women, such as the Netherlands since 2010 and Australia since 2013. At the UEC European Rail Championships , the discipline was also held for women for the first time in 2016 . Organizers of six-day races have also increasingly included competitions for women in their programs.
Races in two-man team driving are primarily held in six-day races. In official championships and the Olympic Games, the races go over a shorter distance. Two drivers form a team (in six-day races, e.g. Stuttgart, formerly Zurich, Rotterdam is or was also driven in teams of three). In principle, the detachment can take place after any distance. However, since both drivers usually stay on the track, one driver constantly laps the other and, due to the ratio of the speeds - about 35:50 - about every two to two and a half laps.
At predetermined times (e.g. 30, 20 and 10 laps before the end) point evaluations are carried out (5, 3, 2, 1 points). A team can also try to win a lap. As soon as this team reaches the end of the field after winning the round, the round is credited to it by adding a losing round for each of the other teams and the status of the losing rounds is displayed. If one or more teams lead with the same number of rounds, "they are in the zero round".
According to the traditional rules, the winner was the team in the zero round with the most points, so it was important to win a round before winning a point. Layers z. B. three teams in the zero round with 25, 19 and 12 points and another team with a losing round was behind with 30 points, this team was fourth, although it had more points than the other three teams.
After a rule change in October 2016, the competition mode was adapted to the points race . After that, the scoring takes place every ten rounds, whereby the last scoring counts twice and round wins are rewarded with 20 points. The winner is the team with the most points.
The sling grip for the separation between the two drivers plays a decisive role. The driver coming from behind at high speed pushes / pulls (“slings”) the driver in front, who is holding onto his outstretched hand or “pulls” into the race. The sling grip has its origin in the removal technique used by roller skaters. This grip was later banned because it was too dangerous. In the following decades, six-day races were replaced “on sight”. B. put some drivers on a box. After the Second World War and into the 1970s, the drivers used the "push-on technique", in which they pushed each other into the race using a knob in their pants. The sling grip was also used, but it was controversial: Since there are always many riders on the track at high speed when driving in teams of two, the risk of falling is high if the detachment is not well controlled. Werner Scharch wrote in his book Faszination des Bahnrennsport in 1977 : “An often seen bad habit [...] is detachment by a sling grip. In the case of amateurs, this type of replacement is forbidden because of its dangerousness ”. Today, the sling grip is actually used consistently by all drivers in two-man team competitions because it is the most effective.
↑ Jan Eric Schwarzer : The two-man team riding in track cycling. Technical description, requirement profile and forms of exercise , DA Cologne 2009.
↑ Werner Scharch: Fascination of track racing . Teningen 1977. p. 86.
^ Program booklet for the 56th Berlin 6-Day Race October 1 to 7, 1965 . Self-published, Berlin 1965. p. 17
^ Walter Rütt: From the start to the sling grip - The team race through the ages . In: The German cyclist - illustrated cycling sport. Sole official newspaper d. Specialized office for cycling in the German Reich Association for physical exercise, d. German Cyclists Association ud Reichsgemeinschaft für Radwegebau . Stoof Verlag, Berlin June 17, 1942, p.1 .
↑ Werner Scharch: Fascination of track racing . Teningen 1977. p. 90.
↑ Pollack was later revoked the German championship title because of doping.