Aspiring professional keirin riders in Japan compete for entrance into the Japan Keirin School. The 10 percent of applicants who are accepted then undergo a strict, 15-hours per day, training regimen. Those who pass the graduation exams, and are approved by the NJS become eligible for professional keirin races in Japan.

Keirin races in Japan begin with all nine bicyclists parading to the starting blocks, bowing as they enter the track and again as they position their bikes for the start of the race. Every participant is assigned a number and a colour for identification and betting purposes, much like racing colours used in horse racing.

At the sound of the gun, the bicyclists leave their starting blocks and attempt to gain position behind the pacer, a keirin bicyclist wearing purple with orange stripes. As the pace quickens, the pacer will usually depart the track with between one and two laps remaining, but the actual location where the pacer leaves varies with every race.

With 1½ laps remaining, officials begin sounding a bell or gong, increasing in frequency until the bicyclists come around to begin the final lap of the race.

The race is monitored by four referees, each located in a tower next to one of the four turns (referred to as corners). After every race, each referee will wave either a white or red flag. A white flag indicates that no infractions occurred in that area. A red flag, however, signals a possible infraction and launches an inquiry into the race. Judges then examine the race on videotape to decide if a participant committed a rules violation; if so, he is disqualified and retires from the remainder of the meet.

Keirin ovals are divided into specific areas: The two straightaways (homestretch and backstretch), the four turns (corners), and two locations called the "center", referring to the area between corners 1 and 2 (1 center) and corners 3 and 4 (2 center).

Most keirin events are run at the standard distance of approximately 2,000 metres (6,600 ft)[2], with the highest-caliber events contested at a longer distance. The Keirin Grand Prix, for example, is run at 2,825 metres (9,268 ft), or seven laps around a 400-meter course.

Full Keirin Wikipedia here

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