Elke Vanhoof of Belgium competes in the women's seeding run at the Olympic BMX Center during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

A BMX race can provide quite the rush for even the most seasoned of cyclists. 

"It's really a big kind of a roller coaster adrenaline rush is what it is," U.S. rider Corben Sharrah said. He was the fifth seed for the men's quarterfinals on Thursday.  

 

Here's a look at the BMX track by the numbers, with figures and information provided by the International Cycling Union.

THE RAMP

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Eight riders in each heat start at the top of a ramp about 26 feet high. They gather in lanes behind a starting gate; after that, it's a free-for-all from there down the ramp.

THE COURSE

(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

The track is about a fraction less than a quarter-mile for men, and slightly less than that for the women.

ELEVATION

 (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

From the bottom of the ramp to the finish line, the course elevation drops gradually by 13 feet.

THE TRACK SURFACE

(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Track material is mainly built out of highly compressed soil. The top layer, called a slurry, provides the reddish color. It is a mixture of red, sandy soil; water; and a soil stabilizer called "soil-tec." The material provides a high-grip, weather-resistant surface. Similar state-of-the-art surfaces are found at World Cup races.

THE GREEN TURNS

(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

The green sections of the track are paved, either asphalt or concrete. The paint is a high-grip paint similar to that used on cement tennis courts. The color was chosen because it is one of the colors of the Rio Games.