Riding a bicycle for sport, pleasure, or transport. Cycle racing can take place on oval artificial tracks, on the road, or across country (cyclocross and mountain biking).
Stage races are run over gruelling terrain and can last anything from three days to three and a half weeks, as in the Tour de France, Tour of Italy, and Tour of Spain. Criteriums are fast, action-packed races around the closed streets of town or city centres. Each race lasts about an hour. Road races are run over a prescribed circuit, which the riders will lap several times. Such a race will normally cover a distance of approximately 160 km/100 mi. Track racing takes place on a concrete or wooden banked circuit, either indoors or outdoors. In time trialling each rider races against the clock, with all the competitors starting at different intervals.
Among the main events are the Tour de France, first held in 1903; the Tour of Britain (formerly called the Milk Race), first held in 1951; and the World Professional Road Race Championship, first held at the Neuburgring, Germany, in 1927.
Tour de France