Competitive cycling is one of the most famous sports which has attracted participants and spectators from different parts of the world. It is also one of the sports that require endurance and dedication because races take place on different terrains. There are famous races that every cycling enthusiast should know, and this article will cover the top races around the world.
Tour de France
This is considered the most prestigious cycling event in Europe and around the world because of its long history. The first race took place back in 1903, and France has hosted the event to date. The competition takes between 21 and 23 days, with cyclists completing a stage each day when they are tested for endurance and strength.
The Giro d’Italia is an Italian cycling racing event that first took place in 1909, after the success of Tour de France, and occurs every year to date. The race takes between 23 and 24 days over 21 stages through the Alps and is part of the three European grand tours. Like the Tour de France, the cyclist who takes the lowest total time over the 21 stages is declared the winner.
Vuelta a España
This is an annual cycling race held in Spain while occasionally passing through neighboring countries. It’s part of the three European grand tours and uses the same format as the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. The first race took place in 1935 and has been held annually to date. The race covers around 3300 to 3500 km over 21 stages, with the winner being determined as the cyclist with the lowest time over the stages.
Tour de Suisse
The race first took place in 1933 with Switzerland hosting the competition and is considered a test race for the Tour de France. It takes place over nine days, covering over 1,172.7 km over several stages.
Tour Down Under
Tour Down Under is an open cycling tournament which falls under the UCI World Tour. The race takes place in Australia, covering six days in mid-January when the summer is at its peak. The course is flat, unlike other cycling races, and used to test the cyclist’s endurance because of the heat, which can go upwards of 40 degrees.