The event was a single-elimination tournament after seeding via time trial. Each match pitted two cyclists against each other in the best-of-three races. Each race was three laps of the track with side-by-side starts.
The first round was meant to have 9 heats, with a total of 18 riders. However, due to a rider from the Netherlands withdrawing from the competition the first round had 17 riders with Jason Kenny receiving a bye and therefore automatically qualifying for the next round. Because there was 17 competitors rather than 18, Christos Volikakis, who qualified in 17th place thought that he did not qualify and the competition was switched to a 16 rider format, resulting in him leaving the competition. This was not the case, and therefore Gregory Bauge also qualified automatically. Despite qualifying automatically, both riders had to ride half a lap of the track to qualify.