No matter if you are a fan of cycling or not, you have probably heard about at least one famous race. It’s a great sport that has a long and varied history, with many different types of races and events.
In France, 1868 saw the creation of the first bicycle race. The Tour de France, now one of the three most prestigious Grand Tours in Europe, is the most well-known.
The Tour de France
The Tour de France, a famous cycling race, is held every July. It starts in France and ends in Paris. The race is a major sporting event in Europe and attracts millions of fans from around the world. It is a grueling test of athletic endurance and skill, as riders cover over 3,519 km (2,187 miles) across a mix of flat land and mountainous terrain.
The Tour’s key feature is its team structure. Each team has a leader, who rides in front of the group. The rest of the riders support the leader throughout the race by supporting him, such as keeping him safe from the wind, setting strong paces in the mountains, and preventing his rivals from getting ahead.
There are three additional classifications that add excitement to the race, in addition to the general competition for winning the Tour. These include the GC (general classification), the points competition, and the mountain competitions.
The GC is a ranking that ranks all riders in a race according to how much time they have accumulated during each stage. Riders are credited with the same time for finishing in the same group, and are also awarded bonus points for their times on certain stages. This system has been criticized for favoring stronger teams and handicapping weaker ones.
Another important classification is the green jersey, which awards points to the first rider over the finish line in each stage. The green jersey is usually won by a sprinter, however riders are encouraged to climb as many hills during the Tour as possible to earn points.
The polka dots mountains classification recognizes the top climber on each stage of the Tour, and gives them a cool red and white polka dots jersey. This adds to the excitement of the Tour, as riders try to win as many of these classifications as they can.
The Tour is a highly competitive event with riders from all corners of the globe competing for the top spots. Bernard Hinault, Joop Zetemelk, Greg LeMond are just a few of the top cyclists to have won five or more Tours.
The Giro d’Italia
The Giro d’Italia, one of the most well-known cycling races in the world, is the Giro d’Italia. Founded in 1909 by the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, it is the largest of the three Grand Tours and takes place over three weeks.
The race was started to promote cycling. It has 21 stages spread over 23 days and includes two rest days. Stages are timed to the finish and the rider with the lowest aggregate time wins the overall.
In addition to the general classification, there are other prestigious awards in the Giro d’Italia, including the mountains classification and the best young rider. The leader of each of these categories is awarded a pink jersey.
During the course of a Giro d’Italia, the riders pass through various regions and cities in Italy. Each area has something special and the race often features regional agricultural products.
It is clear that the Giro d’Italia can be a difficult race. This is a great opportunity to climbers of all levels to make it to the top. There will be a lot of contenders for this year’s general classification, including Tom Dumoulin who, after winning the 2017 race, has become a favorite for stage wins at Giro.
Both sprinters and climbers have the opportunity to gain valuable points at each stage of Giro d’Italia. An intermediate sprint is available on each stage. This sprint can be worth up eight points for the six fastest cyclists. These points are used to calculate Traguardo Volante, a separate prize awarded at the finish of the race.
The Giro is a Grand Tour of three weeks covering approximately 2,448km. Each stage measures approximately 25km long. Each year, the route of each Giro d’Italia differs. This allows organizers to change the terrain and distances of each stage. It also gives them the opportunity to add additional challenges to keep the race exciting for its competitors.
The Vuelta a Espaa
The Vuelta a Espana is one of the most recognizable cycling races in the world. It’s one of the three Grand Tours along with the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia, and has a reputation for being a highly competitive race.
Each year, the Vuelta’s route changes. However, it always includes at least two times trials and passage through the Pyrenees mountains. The final stage of the tour winds around Madrid.
Like the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana are popular events that draw many spectators to Spain each season. It was established in 1935, and it has been held every year since 1955.
It’s a long race that begins in Utrecht, The Netherlands and ends with a final stage to Madrid, Spain. The last stage is typically a team time trial, and this year’s will begin on Friday.
There are some big names in the field for this year’s Vuelta a Espana, including Bora-Hansgrohe’s Giro d’Italia winner Jay Hindley and Simon Yates, who finished second at this year’s Tour de France. There are many other contenders for overall victory.
The race is often won by riders who were able to get away from the peloton on one of the mountain stages, which can be tricky for the GC riders. This was the case with Philippa York and Tom Dumoulin in 2015, Fabio Aru in 2010 and Mark Cavendish (2010) and Alejandro Valverde 2009
Many stage winners have gone on win the overall at the next Vuelta. This year’s race will be no different, as top GC riders will likely be focusing on their World Championships campaigns.
This year’s Vuelta will have a lot of excitement, with some tough mountain stages, and some riders who are not used to racing the Grand Tours may have an unexpected impact. A number of new riders have also made their debut at the Vuelta this season.
The Tour de Suisse
The Tour de Suisse is the most important cycling race in Switzerland, and one of the leading WorldTour stage races. Known as a key dress rehearsal for the Tour de France, it is raced over eight days in June. It’s a great way for riders to get a final tune up before the big event, and also offers spectators an opportunity to witness top-level competition.
The Swiss tour will feature a hilly course this year. This should give GC contenders a good preview. Fabian Cancellara (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is expected to be the defending champion. The overall battle should be fierce with Tejay van Garderen, Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing).
In recent years, the Swiss race organizers have moved the date to June earlier to allow riders more time for recovery from their previous race and to prepare them for the Tour de France. Despite a deal with Velon, many top GC players still prefer the Criterium du Dauphine.
While the route of Swiss race has changed over the years it remains a difficult test for climbers. The first stage begins with a 7.3km time trial in Lugano, surrounded by short, punchy climbs. The category three Simplonpass is next, followed by a stage at CransMontana.
The second stage is another lumpy day, with three classified climbs backloaded onto the day. This is followed by a flatter stage.
The third and fourth stages will see riders dealing with an uphill and flat route that passes through Aesch, Grenchen. These two stages are not particularly difficult, but each one has its own rewards for the climbers who will be out in force.
The Swiss Tour is an amazing event for fans and spectators of cycling. There are many entertainment options, including the Bike Expo and a Kids World with fun activities for both children and adults.