In the first round of heats, the 24 cyclists were divided into 12 pairs. Placing in the heats was not used to advanced; instead the 8 fastest cyclists from across the heats advanced to the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals paired off the 8 remaining cyclists into 4 heats. Winners advanced, losers were eliminated.
The winner of each semifinal advanced to the gold medal match, while the loser was sent to the bronze medal match.