5 Cycling tournaments every enthusiast must know!
Now that you've taken your bicycle across the streets of your city and perhaps explored a few trails, and you've mastered your techniques, it's time to elevate your practice to the next level. Cycling tournaments worldwide are greatly revered and challenge a cyclist to push their limits and upskill themselves. A tournament is genuinely something to look forward to as it involves hours of preparations and fills you with that nervousness and excitement for a fantastic event. A tournament is truly an occasion that commemorates every athlete, whether they win or lose. A congregation of like-minded people brings a healthy dose of competition and a sporting attitude that makes the event historical. Cycling tournaments, too, share this same attitude; let us get to know some of these:
1. The Tour de France, France
The Tour de France is one of the three elite cycling tournaments in Europe. The race was first organized in 1903 to promote the newspaper L'Auto. Since then, the race has been conducted every year and was stopped only for the two world wars. The race is usually conducted in July and consists of 21 day-long segments over 23 day periods and covers over 3500 kilometers. The oldest and the main competition in this tournament is the 'general classification', and the winner is awarded the yellow jersey. While the primary race is based on cycling, other contests too are conducted within the tour. They are points classification for sprinters, mountains classification for climbers, young riders classification for riders under 26, and team classification based on the first three finishers from each team. while the route of the race changes every year, the portion of the race through the Pyrenees and Alps and the finishing at Champs-Elysees in Paris remains the same.
2. Giro d'Italia, Italy
The following famous race in one of the most elite races is conducted in Italy. Giro d'Italia has a similar story as Tour de France. The race was organized to market and increase the newspaper La Gazzetta Dello Sport sales. The race has been held every year since 1909 and stopped only during the two world wars. The race was fast to gain prominence, and soon riders worldwide started to participate. This grand tour is held during May; the route changes every year, but the passage through the Alps and Dolomites remains the same. The Giro d'Italia's format remains the same, and the general classification winner wins the pink jersey. Other contests are held within the tournament, such as the points classification, the mountains classification for the climbers, young rider classifications for cyclists under 25, and the team classification. The race's first winner was Luigi Ganna, while the most recent one was Egan Bernal.
3. Vuelta a Espana, Spain
The final of the three grand tours of Europe, the Vuelta a Espana, is conducted in Spain and was organized after the resounding success of the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia in 1935. The race has been conducted annually since 1955 and was prevented previously due to the second world war and the Spanish civil war. The race has gained a lot of eminences, and its influence is far-reaching. Like Tour De France, the Vuelta a Espana is controlled by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The race format stays the same as the other two grand tours of cycling, and while the route changes every year, the passage through the Pyrenees and the finish in Madrid remains the same. This grand tour is also a UCI World Tour event; the teams participating in the race are UCI World Teams. However, a few wildcards are invited by the organizers. The first winner was Gustaaf Deloor and the recent Primoz Roglic
4. Tour de Suisse, Switzerland
This annual road cycling stage race was first organized in 1933 and spans over nine days in June. This race is a part of the UCI World Tour and is one of the most prestigious professional races in the world. The Tour de Suisse is a precursor to the Tour de France, and this race has significant mountain climbs in the Swiss Alps. The first winner of the race was Max Bulla from Austria in 1933, and the most recent was Richard Carapaz
5. Tour Down Under, Australia
The first edition of the Tour Down Under was held in 1999 and is conducted in Australia. The race is considered the starting event of the UCI World Tour and features all the 19 UCI world teams. The tour also organizes UCI women's Pro Series event. The race was established to fill the gap left in the sports calendar. The race is held in the Australian summer season and challenges the rider with hills and a flat section for six days. The 2021 and 2022 events were cancelled due to the severe restrictions of the Covis-19 pandemic.
While the races above are some of the major ones, these aren't the only ones. The Union Cycliste Internationale in Switzerland overlooks the rankings, events, and rules. The UCI oversees all the tours above, including many more. The Paris-Nice race in France, Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy, Tour de Romandie in Switzerland, Criterium du Dauphine in France, and the Volta a Catalunya are some of the other prestigious and professional cycle races in the world. Esow Alben, Ronaldo Singh Laitonjam, Deborah Herold, Rameshwori Devi, and Naveen John are only a few Indian cyclists who've emerged as world champions and continue to make their mark on the world cycling stage.
The races above motivate individuals to outperform their abilities and help them scale heights and reach the next level; these tours are essential in the cycling community. Whether you have an MTB Cycle or a geared Cycle, these races will tempt the competitor within you. Ninety One Cycles has some of the best men's bicycles and women's bikes.
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