A BIT OF HISTORY
Road bicycle racing is the cycle sport discipline of road cycling, held on paved roads. Road racing is the most popular professional form of bicycle racing, in terms of numbers of competitors, events and spectators. The sport is governed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
Road bicycle racing began as an organized sport in 1868. It has been introduced in Olympic Games since
1896 in Athens. In the late of 19th century, this sport was popular in
western European countries like Belgium, France, Italy and Spain. In fact the
most important races took place in these countries. These early races include
Liege-Bastogne-Liege (established from 1892), Paris-Roubaix (1896), the Tour de
France (1903), the Milan-San Remo and Giro di Lombardia (1905), the Giro
d’Italia (1909), the Volta a Catalunya (1911) and the Tour of Flanders (1913).
While the sport has spread throughout the world, these historic races remain the most prestigious for a cyclist to win.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ROAD BICYCLE RACES
There are various types of road bicycle races:
- single-day bicycle race: these races are long about
240 km and they are known as
- time trial: it is an event in which cyclists race alone against the clock.
- stage races: it consists of several races. The competitor with the lowest cumulative time to
complete all stages is declared the winner. There are also other awards and classifications.
- ultramarathon: it is a very long stage event and it usually lasts several days.
Now we want to tell you about the three most important stage races.
THE TOUR DE FRANCE
The Tour de France is an annual stage bicycle race held in France in July. The race was first organized to increase sales for the newspaper “L’Auto”. It is the oldest and generally considered the most prestigious road bicycle race. While the route changes each year, the passage through the Pyrenees, the Alps and the finish line in Paris on the Champs-Elysees remain the same. The rider with the lowest aggregate time is the leader of the race and he wears the yellow jersey.
THE GIRO D’ITALIA
The Giro d’Italia is an annual stage bicycle race held in Italy between May and early June. The first race was organized in 1909 to increase sales of the newspaper “La Gazzetta dello Sport”. Like the other Grand Tours, the Giro lasts 23 days, 21 stage days and 2 rest days. The rider with the lowest aggregate time is the leader of the race and he wears the pink jersey.
VUELTA A ESPANA
The Vuelta a Espana is an annual stage bicycle race held in Spain between August and September. The race was first organized in 1935, inspired by the success of the other two big stage races. Also the Vuelta lasts 23 days that includes 2 rest days. The rider with the lowest aggregate time is the leader of the race and gets to don the red jersey.
Do you follow road bicycle racing? What is your favourite rider?
ALEX T. and LUCA