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Road bicycle racing is the
cycle sport of the Tour de France postage stamp depicting Gustav-Adolf Schur, 1960 Image:Tour of gippsland final stage.jpg, The final stage in Australia's Tour of Gippsland climbing up "The Gap" to Omeo, Victoria, Omeo Cycle sport is Competition, com ...
discipline of
road cycling Road cycling is the most widespread form of cycling Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycle File:Campana clásica de bicicleta (sonido) 02.wav, Classic bell of a bicycle A bicycle, also called a bike or cyc ...
, held on paved roads. Road racing is the most popular
professional A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns a living from a specified professional activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with the particular knowled ...
form of bicycle racing, in terms of numbers of competitors, events and spectators. The two most common competition formats are
mass start{{refimprove, date=February 2018 Start of the Vienna City Marathon 2004 Mass start is a format of starting in some racing sports such as long-distance running Long-distance running, or endurance running, is a form of continuous running over ...
events, where riders start simultaneously (though sometimes with a
handicap The term is derived from Hand-in-cap, an old English method for evaluating the relative worth of two items in a trade. Today Handicapped or handicap may refer to: In sports and games *Handicapping, various methods of levelling the outcome in a compe ...
) and race to a set finish point; and
time trial Time trial " Souvenir Stefan Götz" at the 2nd ICFF, Marbeck, Germany, September 2007 In many racing sports an sportsperson, athlete (or occasionally a team of athletes) will compete in a time trial against the clock to secure the fastest time. In ...

time trial
s, where individual riders or
team A team is a group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal A goal is an idea In common usage and in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as ...
s race a course alone against the clock.
Stage race A race stage, leg, or heat is a unit of a racing, race that has been divided in several parts for the reason such as length of the distance to be covered, as in a multi-day race, multi-day event. Usually, such a race consists of "ordinary" stages, ...
s or "tours" take multiple days, and consist of several mass-start or time-trial stages ridden consecutively. Professional racing originated in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on context. Beginning with foreign exploration during the Age of Discovery, roughly from the 15th century, the concept of ''Europe'' as "the W ...

Western Europe
, centred in
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the and from the to the and the ; overseas territories include in , in the N ...

France
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding it, whose territory largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

Italy
and the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in Northwestern Europe forming ...
. Since the mid-
1980s File:1980s replacement montage02.PNG, 420px, From left, clockwise: The first , ', lifts off in 1981; US president and ease tensions between the two superpowers, leading to the end of the ; The in 1989 is considered to be one of the most mome ...

1980s
, the sport has diversified, with professional races now held on all continents of the globe. Semi-professional and amateur races are also held in many countries. The sport is governed by the
Union Cycliste Internationale The ''Union Cycliste Internationale'' (UCI; ; en, International Cycling Union) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance comprises all of the processes of gove ...
(UCI). As well as the UCI's annual
World Championships A world championship is generally an international competition open to elite competitors from around the world, representing their nations, and winning such an event will be considered the highest or near highest achievement in the sport, game, or ...
for men and women, the biggest event is the
Tour de France The Tour de France () is an annual men's primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other (the and the ), it consists of 21 stages, each a day long, over the course of 23 days. The race ...

Tour de France
, a three-week race that can attract over 500,000 roadside supporters a day.


History

Road racing in its modern form originated in the late 19th century. It began as an organized sport in 1868.''On Your Bicycle'', James McGurn, John Murray 1987 The sport was popular in the western European countries of France, Spain, Belgium, and Italy, and some of those earliest road bicycle races remain among the sport's biggest events. These early races include Liège–Bastogne–Liège (established 1892),
Paris–Roubaix Paris–Roubaix is a one-day professional men's road bicycle racing, bicycle road race in northern France, starting north of Paris and finishing in Roubaix, at the border with Belgium. It is one of cycling's oldest races, and is one of the 'Cycli ...
(1896), the
Tour de France The Tour de France () is an annual men's primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other (the and the ), it consists of 21 stages, each a day long, over the course of 23 days. The race ...

Tour de France
(1903), the
Milan–San Remo Milan–San Remo (in italian language, Italian ''Milano-Sanremo''), also called "''The Spring classic''" or "''La Classicissima''", is an annual cycling race between Milan and Sanremo, in Northwest Italy. With a distance of 298 km (~185.2 mi ...
and
Giro di Lombardia A giro transfer, often shortened to giro (), is a payment transfer from one bank account to another bank account and initiated by the payer, not the payee. The debit card A debit card (also known as a bank card, plastic card or check card) i ...
(1905), the
Giro d'Italia The Giro d'Italia (; en, Tour of Italy; also known as the Giro) is an annual multiple-stage bicycle race primarily held in Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country co ...
(1909), the
Volta a Catalunya The Volta a Catalunya (; en, Tour of Catalonia, es, Vuelta a Cataluña, link=no) is a Road bicycle racing, road bicycle race held annually in Catalonia, Spain. It is one of three World Tour stage races in Spain, together with the Vuelta a Españ ...
(1911), and the
Tour of Flanders The Tour of Flanders ( nl, Ronde van Vlaanderen), also known as ''De Ronde'' (''"The Tour"''), is an annual road bicycle racing, road cycling race held in Belgium every spring. The most important cycling race in Flanders, it is part of the UCI W ...
(1913). They provided a template for other races around the world. Cycling has been
part Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt Armi Pärt (born 18 June 1991) is an Estonian handballer, playing in French D2 for Massy Essonne Handball. He is also a member of Estonian national team. Club career HC Kehra Armi Pärt ...
of the
Summer Olympic Games The Summer Olympic Games, also known as the Games of the Olympiad, are a major international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports ...
since the modern sequence started in Athens in 1896. Historically, the most competitive and devoted countries since the beginning of 20th century were Belgium, France and Italy, then road cycling spread in
Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by conve ...

Colombia
, Denmark, Germany,
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
, the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, ...

Portugal
, Spain and Switzerland after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
. However, as the sport grows in popularity through globalization, countries such as
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan ( kk, Қазақстан, Qazaqstan; russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstan), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan,; russian: Республика Казахстан, Respublika Kazakhstan, link=no) is a country located mainly in ...

Kazakhstan
, Australia, Russia,
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity ...

Slovakia
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital cities ...
, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland and the United States continue to produce world-class cyclists. The first women’s road championships were held French National Road Race Championships#Women, in France in 1951. A women’s road race discipline was added to the UCI Road World Championships at the 31st edition of the World Championships in 1958 in Reims.


Road race types


Single-day

Professional single-day race distances may be as long as . Courses may run from place to place or comprise one or more laps of a circuit; some courses combine both, i.e., taking the riders from a starting place and then finishing with several laps of a circuit (usually to ensure a good spectacle for spectators at the finish). Races over short circuits, often in town or city centres, are known as criteriums. Some races, known as handicaps, are designed to match riders of different abilities and/or ages; groups of slower riders start first, with the fastest riders starting last and so having to race harder and faster to catch other competitors.


Time trial

Individual time trial (ITT) is an event in which cyclists race alone against the clock on flat or rolling terrain, or up a mountain road. A team time trial (TTT), including two-man team time trial, is a road-based bicycle race in which teams of cyclists race against the clock. In both team and individual time trials, the cyclists start the race at different times so that each start is fair and equal. Unlike individual time trials where competitors are not permitted to 'draft' (ride in the slipstream) behind each other, in team time trials, riders in each team employ this as their main tactic, each member taking a turn at the front while teammates 'sit in' behind. Race distances vary from a few km (typically a prologue, an individual time trial of usually less than before a stage race, used to determine which rider wears the leader's jersey on the first stage) to between approximately and .


Stage races

Stage races consist of several races, or race stage, stages, ridden consecutively. The competitor with the lowest cumulative time to complete all stages is declared the overall, or general classification (GC), winner. Stage races may also have other classifications and awards, such as individual stage winners, the points classification winner, and the "King of the Mountains" (or mountains classification) winner. A stage race can also be a series of road races and individual time trials (some events include team time trials). The stage winner is the first person to cross the finish line that day or the time trial rider (or team) with the lowest time on the course. The overall winner of a stage race is the rider who takes the lowest aggregate time to complete all stages (accordingly, a rider does not have to win all or any of the individual stages to win overall). Three-week stage races are called Grand Tours. The professional road bicycle racing calendar includes three Grand Tours - the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France, and the Vuelta a Espana.


Randonneuring and ultra-distance

Ultra-distance cycling races are very long single stage events where the race clock continuously runs from start to finish. They usually last several days and the riders take breaks on their own schedules, with the winner being the first one to cross the finish line. Among the best-known ultramarathons is the Race Across America (RAAM), a coast-to-coast non-stop, single-stage race in which riders cover approximately in about a week. The race is sanctioned by th
UltraMarathon Cycling Association
(UMCA). RAAM and similar events allow (and often require) racers to be supported by a team of staff; there are also ultra-distance bicycle races that prohibit all external support, such as the Transcontinental Race and the Indian Pacific Wheel Race. The related activity of randonneuring is not strictly a form of racing, but involves cycling a pre-determined course within a specified time limit.


Tactics

A number of tactics are employed to reach the objective of a race. This objective is being the first to cross the finish line in the case of a single-stage race, and clocking the least aggregate finish time in the case of a multi-stage race.


Drafting

Tactics are based on the aerodynamic benefit of Drafting (racing), drafting, whereby a rider can significantly reduce the required pedal effort by closely following in the slipstream of the rider in front. Riding in the main field, or peloton, can save as much as 40% of the energy employed in forward motion when compared to riding alone. Some teams designate a leader, whom the rest of the team is charged with keeping out of the wind and in good position until a critical section of the race. This can be used as a strength or a weakness by competitors; riders can cooperate and draft each other to ride at high speed (a paceline or echelon), or one rider can sit on a competitor's wheel, forcing the other person to do a greater share of the work in maintaining the pace and to potentially tire earlier. Drafting is not permitted in individual time trials.


Breaks

A group of riders that "breaks away" (a "break") from the peloton has more space and freedom, and can therefore be at an advantage in certain situations. Working together smoothly and efficiently, a small group can potentially maintain a higher speed than the peloton, in which the remaining riders may not be as motivated or organized to chase effectively. Usually a rider or group of riders will try to break from the peloton by attacking and riding ahead to reduce the number of contenders for the win. If the break does not succeed and the body of cyclists comes back together, a Cycling sprinter, sprinter will often win by overpowering competitors in the final stretch. Teamwork between riders, both pre-arranged and ad hoc, is important in many aspects: in preventing or helping a successful break, and sometimes in delivering a sprinter to the front of the field.


Terrain and conditions

To make the course more selective, races often feature difficult sections such as tough climbs, fast descents, and sometimes technical surfaces (such as the cobbled ''pavé'' used in the
Paris–Roubaix Paris–Roubaix is a one-day professional men's road bicycle racing, bicycle road race in northern France, starting north of Paris and finishing in Roubaix, at the border with Belgium. It is one of cycling's oldest races, and is one of the 'Cycli ...
race). Stronger riders are able to drop weaker riders during such sections, reducing the number of direct competitors able to take the win. Also weather may be a discriminating factor.


Climbs

Climbs are excellent places for a single rider to try and break away from a bunch, as the lower riding speeds in a climb seriously reduce the drafting advantage of the bunch. The escaping rider can then further capitalize on that rider's position in the descent, as going downhill alone allows for more maneuvering space and therefore higher speeds than when in a bunch. In addition, because the bunch riders are keeping more space between them for safety reasons, their drafting benefits are again reduced. If this action takes place relatively close to the target (e.g. another bunch ahead, or the finish), the ride over flatter terrain after the descent is not long enough to let the drafting effect (which is then working at full power again) make the bunch catch up, making a climb escape even more attractive.


Crosswinds

Wind conditions can also make otherwise routine sections of a course potentially selective. Cyclists have been finding that three- or four-spoked composite front wheels are more stable when confronting crosswinds. Crosswinds, particularly, alter the position of the "shadow" when drafting a rider, usually placing it diagonally behind the lead rider, forming a line of riders called an Echelon formation, echelon. To take advantage of this, an attacking rider rides at high speed at the front of the peloton, on the opposite side of the road from which the crosswind is blowing. Following riders are unable to fully shelter from the wind. If such tactics are maintained for long enough, a weaker rider somewhere in the line will be unable to keep contact with the rider directly ahead, causing the peloton to split up.


Speed

As well as exceptional fitness, successful riders must develop excellent bike handling skills in order to ride at high speeds in close quarters with other riders. Individual riders can reach speeds of while descending winding mountain roads and may reach 60–80 km/h (37–50 mph) level speeds during the final sprint to the finish line. Across a long stage race, such as a Grand Tour, the winner's average speed is usually near 40 km/h.


Gruppetto

In more organized races, a SAG wagon ("support and gear") or broom wagon follows the race to pick up stragglers. In professional stage racing, particularly the Tour de France, riders who are not in a position to win the race or assist a teammate, will usually attempt to ride to the finish within a specified percentage of the winner's finishing time, to be permitted to start the next day's stage. Often, riders in this situation band together to minimize the effort required to finish within the time limit; this group of riders is known as the ''gruppetto'' or ''Autobus (cycling), autobus''. In one-day racing, professionals who no longer have any chance to affect the race outcome will routinely withdraw, even if they are uninjured and capable of riding to the finish.


Teams

While the principle remains that the winner is the first to cross the line, many riders are grouped together in teams, usually with commercial sponsors. On professional and semi-professional teams, team names are typically synonymous with the primary sponsors. As an example, some prominent professional teams of the last 30 years have been , , , and . The size of the team varies, from three in an amateur event for club riders to a dozen in professional races. Team riders decide between themselves, before and during the race, who has the best chance of winning. The choice will depend on hills, the chances that the whole field will finish together in a sprint, and other factors. The other riders on the team, or domestiques, will devote themselves to promoting the leader's chances, taking turns in the wind for him, refusing to chase with the peloton when he or she escapes, and so on. The goal is to allow the leader to have enough energy to take off at the critical point of the race and go on to victory. In professional races, team coordination is often performed by radio communication between the riders and the team director, who travels in a team car behind the race and monitors the overall situation. The influence of radios on race tactics is a topic of discussion amongst the cycling community, with some arguing that the introduction of radios in the 1990s has devalued the tactical knowledge of individual riders and has led to less exciting racing. In September 2009, the
Union Cycliste Internationale The ''Union Cycliste Internationale'' (UCI; ; en, International Cycling Union) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance comprises all of the processes of gove ...
(UCI), the governing body of pro cycling, voted to phase in a ban on the use of team radios in men's elite road racing. However, after protests from teams, the ban introduced in 2011 excluded races on the top-level men's and women's circuits (the UCI World Tour and UCI Women's Road World Cup) and in 2015 the UCI reversed its stance, allowing race radios to be used in UCI race classifications, class HC and class 1 events from the 2016 season.


Types of riders

Within the discipline of road racing, from young age different cyclists have different (relative) strengths and weaknesses. Depending on these, riders tend to prefer different events over particular courses, and perform different tactical roles within a team. The main specialities in road bicycle racing are: * climbing specialist, Climber * Puncheur * Breakaway specialist, or ''baroudeur'' * Time trialist * Rouleur * Cycling sprinter, Sprinter * Cycling domestique, Domestique * Bicycling terminology#all-rounder, All-rounder


Stage-race ranking

In a stage race a ''stage ranking'' is drawn up at the end of each stage, showing for each participating rider the completion time of the stage. The one with the lowest completion time wins the stage. At the same time a ''general ranking'' shows the cumulative finishing times of all prior stages for each participating rider. A rider who does not complete any of the stages within its respective time limit is disqualified. The one with the lowest total cumulative time is the general leader. The general leader typically wears a distinctive jersey (yellow in the
Tour de France The Tour de France () is an annual men's primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other (the and the ), it consists of 21 stages, each a day long, over the course of 23 days. The race ...

Tour de France
) and generally maintains a position near the head of the main mass of riders (the peloton), surrounded by team members, whose job it is to protect the leader. Contenders for the general lead may stage "attacks" to distance themselves from the leader in "breakaways". The general leader's vulnerability to breakaways is higher when the escaping rider(s) trail by a small time difference in the general ranking, and as number of remaining stages diminishes. Riders, who finish in the stage ranking behind the general leader, increase their cumulative time disadvantage. Whereas those who finish ahead of the general leader decrease their time disadvantage and may even gain sufficient time to unseat the general leader. After each stage, the racer with the lowest cumulative time becomes (or remains) the general leader. The general leader does not generally react to breakaways by riders who trail substantially in cumulative time. Such escapes usually achieve other goals, such as winning the stage, collecting sprinting or mountain points, or just creating air time for their team sponsors as a dedicated camera bike typically accompanies the escape.


Notable bicycle races


Grand Tours

Notable cycling races include the
Tour de France The Tour de France () is an annual men's primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other (the and the ), it consists of 21 stages, each a day long, over the course of 23 days. The race ...

Tour de France
, a three-week stage race principally through France and ending in Paris, the
Giro d'Italia The Giro d'Italia (; en, Tour of Italy; also known as the Giro) is an annual multiple-stage bicycle race primarily held in Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country co ...
in Italy, and the Vuelta a España in Spain. Each of these races is considered a "Grand Tour (cycling), Grand Tour".


UCI World Tour

Professional racing is governed by the
Union Cycliste Internationale The ''Union Cycliste Internationale'' (UCI; ; en, International Cycling Union) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance comprises all of the processes of gove ...
. In 2005 it instituted the UCI ProTour (renamed UCI World Tour in 2011) to replace the UCI Road World Cup series. While the World Cup contained only one-day races, the World Tour includes the Grand Tours and other large stage races such as Tour Down Under, Tour de Suisse, Paris–Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, Critérium de Dauphiné Libéré. The former UCI Road World Cup one-day races – which include all five Classic cycle races or "Monuments" – were also part of the ProTour:
Milan–San Remo Milan–San Remo (in italian language, Italian ''Milano-Sanremo''), also called "''The Spring classic''" or "''La Classicissima''", is an annual cycling race between Milan and Sanremo, in Northwest Italy. With a distance of 298 km (~185.2 mi ...
(Italy),
Tour of Flanders The Tour of Flanders ( nl, Ronde van Vlaanderen), also known as ''De Ronde'' (''"The Tour"''), is an annual road bicycle racing, road cycling race held in Belgium every spring. The most important cycling race in Flanders, it is part of the UCI W ...
(Belgium),
Paris–Roubaix Paris–Roubaix is a one-day professional men's road bicycle racing, bicycle road race in northern France, starting north of Paris and finishing in Roubaix, at the border with Belgium. It is one of cycling's oldest races, and is one of the 'Cycli ...
(France), Liège–Bastogne–Liège (Belgium) and Amstel Gold Race (
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
) in the spring, and Clásica de San Sebastián (Spain), HEW Cyclassics (Germany), Züri-Metzgete (Switzerland, until 2006), Paris–Tours (France, until 2007) and
Giro di Lombardia A giro transfer, often shortened to giro (), is a payment transfer from one bank account to another bank account and initiated by the payer, not the payee. The debit card A debit card (also known as a bank card, plastic card or check card) i ...
(Italy) in the autumn season.


Olympic Games

Cycling at the Summer Olympics, Cycling has been a discipline in the summer Olympics ever since the birth of the modern Olympic movement. Cycling activist, co-organizer of Peace Race, :pl: Włodzimierz Gołębiewski, Włodzimierz Gołębiewski said: "Cycling has become a major event on the Olympic programme ... Like many other sports it has undergone several changes over the years. Just as there used to be track and field events such as the standing high jump or Javelin throw, throwing the javelin with both hands, cyclists, too, used to compete for medals in events which today have been forgotten; for example in Athens in 1896, they attempted a 12-hour race, and in London, in 1908, one of the events was a Sprint (cycling), sprint for .""The Olympic Games", ed: Killanin, Rodda, Collier Books, New York The Olympic Games has never been as important in road cycling as in other sports. Until the distinction ended, the best riders were professionals rather than amateurs and so did not take part. Law enforcement always escort the athletes to ensure they are kept safe during the cycling events, especially the road races.


Paris–Rouen

The success of the races in the Parc de St-Cloud inspired the Compagnie Parisienne and the magazine ''Le Vélocipède Illustré'' to run a race from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to the cathedral in Rouen on 7 November 1869. It was the world's first long-distance road race and also won by Moore, who took 10 hours and 25 minutes to cover 134 km. The runners-up were the Count André Castéra, who had come second to Moore at St-Cloud, and Jean Bobillier, riding a farm bike that weighed 35 kg. The only woman to finish within 24 hours was the self-styled Miss America, in reality an unknown English woman who, like several in the field, had preferred not to compete under her real name.


International development and governance

The growth of organised cycle racing led to the development of national administrative bodies, in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Great Britain in 1878, France 1881, the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
1883, Germany 1884 and Sweden 1900. Sometimes, as in Great Britain, cycling was originally administered as part of sport of athletics, athletics, since cyclists often used the tracks used by running, runners. This, according to historian James McGurn, led to disputes within countries and internationally. The first international body was the International Cycling Association (ICA), established by an English schoolteacher named Henry Sturmey (1857–1930), Henry Sturmey, the founder of Sturmey-Archer. It opened in 1893 and held its first world championship in Chicago, United States, the same year. A new organisation, the
Union Cycliste Internationale The ''Union Cycliste Internationale'' (UCI; ; en, International Cycling Union) is the world governing body A governing body is a group of people that has the authority to exercise governance Governance comprises all of the processes of gove ...
(UCI), was set up on 15 April 1900 during the Olympic Games in Paris, by several European countries and the United States. Great Britain was not initially a member, but joined in 1903. The UCI, based in Switzerland, has run the sport ever since.


Season

In its home in Europe and in the United States, cycle racing on the road is a summer sport, although the season can start in early spring and end in autumn. The months of the season depend on the hemisphere. A racing year is divided between lesser races, single-day Classic cycle races, classics and stage races. The classics include the
Tour of Flanders The Tour of Flanders ( nl, Ronde van Vlaanderen), also known as ''De Ronde'' (''"The Tour"''), is an annual road bicycle racing, road cycling race held in Belgium every spring. The most important cycling race in Flanders, it is part of the UCI W ...
,
Paris–Roubaix Paris–Roubaix is a one-day professional men's road bicycle racing, bicycle road race in northern France, starting north of Paris and finishing in Roubaix, at the border with Belgium. It is one of cycling's oldest races, and is one of the 'Cycli ...
and
Milan–San Remo Milan–San Remo (in italian language, Italian ''Milano-Sanremo''), also called "''The Spring classic''" or "''La Classicissima''", is an annual cycling race between Milan and Sanremo, in Northwest Italy. With a distance of 298 km (~185.2 mi ...
. The other important one-day race is the World Championships. Unlike other classics, the World Championships is held on a different course each year and ridden by national rather than sponsored teams. The winner wears a white jersey with coloured bands (often called "rainbow bands") around the chest. In Australia, due to the relatively mild winters and hot summers, the amateur road racing season runs from autumn to spring, through the winter months, while criterium races are held in the mornings or late afternoons during the summer. Some professional events, including the Tour Down Under, are held in the southern summer, mainly to avoid clashing with the major northern hemisphere races and allowing top professionals to compete.


Bicycle championships

* Olympic Games * Commonwealth Games * World Cycling Championship


Fantasy Cycling

Fantasy cycling is a game where players acts as managers that assemble teams of cyclist. The fantasy manager is awarded points based on the real life performance of the cyclist they have selected. The fantasy players then compete against teams assembled by other participants.


Competition Format

Fantasy cycling competitions last different lengths of time ranging from a single race to an entire racing season. A common format for fantasy cycling is to have a limited number rider spot on each team and a set budget amount that can be spent on the entire team of riders. The rider prices are set by the fantasy league provider. The fantasy cycling rules also limit the number or frequency of rider transfers. Some competitions will have different classes of riders that are awarded points at different rates or limited spots on the roster .


See also

* Outline of cycling * List of important cycling events * Glossary of cycling


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Road Bicycle Racing Road bicycle racing, Endurance games Cycle racing by discipline Summer Olympic disciplines