Keirin racing; Japan vs the rest of us.

Oct 30, 2011
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So the other day I was at the pub with a friend, talking about the Olympics, and we got onto the subject of track cycling, and then the Keirin.

Essentially, we couldn't work out why the Japanese didn't dominate Keirin racing, given the sport's incredible popularity there.

I've put this in the Clinic because that's where my tinfoil hat brain jumped to initially. However, I know very little about track cycling and really am looking for Clinic or non-Clinic answers.

Ta.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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I'm sure I heard once that there was so much ¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥ in Japanese keirin and the standard was so high that the top guys didn't lower themselves to competing in the Olympics/WC. Not sure if BS though.
 
Apr 7, 2010
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the style of racing in japan is totally different

you might see some footage of this from later in the year after the international invitationals are over, the japanese guys will dominate on their huge outdoor tracks in the wind and rain

most of the big moves that take place in japanese keirin would result in relegations at world champ/olympic level racing these days since high level track sprinting has become so sanitised
 
Sep 30, 2009
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taiwan said:
I'm sure I heard once that there was so much ¥¥¥¥¥¥¥¥ in Japanese keirin and the standard was so high that the top guys didn't lower themselves to competing in the Olympics/WC. Not sure if BS though.
This was a rumour floating around in the 80's. It was said that Koichi Nakano, even though he won 10 Match Sprint World Championships titles in a row, wasn't the best Japanese Keirin rider. This has since been refuted as he was actually one of the most successful riders on the circuit.

As far as money is concerned, this is partially true. There is definitely a lot of money available to be won as Keirin is a betting sport in Japan and brings in around 20 Billion $US a year. This prize money is dependent not only on how well you place in a specific competition, but also on the number of points you accumulate over the season. The points are important to either upgrade or stay at your current level. Not enough points and you get relegated to a lower level for the next season, so consistency is also key. Peaking is not a strategy that gets you very far in Pro Keirin.

barn yard said:
the style of racing in japan is totally different

you might see some footage of this from later in the year after the international invitationals are over, the japanese guys will dominate on their huge outdoor tracks in the wind and rain

most of the big moves that take place in japanese keirin would result in relegations at world champ/olympic level racing these days since high level track sprinting has become so sanitised
The style of racing is definitely different. There is definitely more bump and grind going on in Japanese Keirin. UCI keirin rules state that body contact can occur, although no headbutting is allowed, and you cannot make contact with an opponents bicycle. This leaves a lot of leeway for body contact, but the officials have really wimped out with what's allowed.
 
May 17, 2012
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The style difference isn't that Japanese racing is rougher, its actually the entire event that is different. Riders have 'types' and if you are a long rider then you must go early and if you are a short rider you must waiy until the final metres for your sprint. There are numerous stories online of top track riders scoring invites to race in the series. Look for one written by ben kersten

http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/riders/2007/diaries/benk/?id=benk0705
 
Oct 30, 2011
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Thanks for the replies guys, interesting to see that it's just a totally different sport.
 

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