Already on ArticleSlash?

Forgot your password? Sign Up

What Are the World's Top Bike Races?


Visitors: 173

Bicycle racing has been around for a long time - since the mid nineteenth century. However, it didn't take the form it has today until around the beginning of the twentieth. Now, some of the first races that were established for cyclists are still among the most prestigious. In general, the world's most famous bicycle races include the Grand Tours, races at the Olympics, and professional races under the Union Cycliste Internationale, or UCI. These are road bicycle races. Other types of bike racing that aren't as well known include mountain bike racing (first recognized in 1990) and cyclo-cross racing (originally developed for road racers in the off season).

Grand Tours

There are three Grand Tours of cycling, of which the most famous is the Tour de France. This multi-stage race takes three weeks, and passes through France, ending up in Paris traditionally. Founded in 1903, this bike race covers almost two thousand miles, and consists of twenty different stages between specific towns. The winner is the person with the shortest times in each stage. The other Grand Tours are the Giro d'Italia (sometimes just Giro), which was founded in 1909, and inspired by the Tour de France. In Spain, a similar race is the Vuelta a Espana.

The Olympics

Cycling has been a part of the Olympics since the 1896 games, in which a 12 hour race was attempted. Many Olympic cycling events of the past have now been forgotten, including 1908's 660 yard bicycle sprint. Today, bike competitors in the Olympic games compete in track cycling, road cycling, mountain bike races, and BMX or off-road competitions. The races are divided by gender, and in some cases are done in teams.

UCI Races

The UCI ProTour was created in 2005, to replace the older UCI World Cup. The World Cup was made up of only races lasting a single day. The ProTour, however, contains the famous Grand Tours, as well as the Tour de Suisse, Criterium de Dauphine Libere, Paris-Nice, and other well-known multi-day races. It also still contains all the one day races that made up the World Cup: Belgium's Ronde van Vlaanderen and Liege-Bastogne-Liege races, Italy's Milan-Sanremo and Giro di Lombardia, France's Paris-Tours and Paris-Roubaix, the Zuri-Metzgete in Switzerland, Spain's Clasica de San Sebastian, the HEW Cyclassics in Germany, and the Amstel Gold Race in the Netherlands. Some races are spring only. Others are held in the fall. In general, cycling is a sport for summer, this definition is often stretched so that the season really begins in early spring, and ends in autumn.

Robert G. Knechtel operates several websites addressing a variety of interesting topics, including Road Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Parts & Accessories , information in the form of A Blog Discussion About Cycling and saving money on Online Purchases of Road Bikes and Frames .


Article Source:

Rate this Article: 
Get your Bike Ready for the Charity Bike Ride
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes

Related Articles:

Dirt Bike Events and Races

by: Ryan Canfield (December 14, 2008) 
(Recreation and Sports)

World of Warcraft Alliance Races: The Humans

by: Rob Dee (January 24, 2007) 
(Computers and Technology)

World of Warcraft - Races and Classes Explained

by: Rob Dee (January 24, 2007) 
(Computers and Technology)

AoC Races A Quick Guide to the Age of Conan Races

by: Eddie Martin (July 14, 2008) 
(Gaming/Online Gaming)

You Want to Buy a Stationary Bike? Forget About Upright, a Recumbent Exercise ..

by: Robin O'Brien (July 07, 2008) 
(Health and Fitness/Fitness Equipment)

Central Budapest Apartments and Bed&Breakfast , guide , bike rental , bike ..

by: Janos Farkas (September 03, 2011) 
(Health and Fitness/Anxiety)

My Dirt Bike's Been Stolen and I Forget to Get Bike Insurance

by: Hugh McInnes (November 05, 2008) 

Should My Mountain Bike Have Bike Disc Brakes?

by: Rob Pool (January 22, 2008) 
(Recreation and Sports/Mountain Biking)

Raleigh Folding Bike For The Bike With A Difference

by: Robert Sheehan (February 13, 2007) 
(Recreation and Sports)

Get your Bike Ready for the Charity Bike Ride

by: Diane Forster (June 28, 2012) 
(Self Improvement/Organizing)