Road bicycle racing is a bicycle racing sport held on paved roads.
The term “road racing” is usually applied to events where competing riders start simultaneously (unless riding a handicap event) with the winner being the first to the line at the end of the course (individual and team time trials are another form of cycle racing on roads).
Historically, the most competitive and devoted countries were Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, however as the sport grows in popularity, countries such as Kazakhstan, Australia, Venezuela, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland and the United States continue to produce world class cyclists.
Road bicycle racing began as an organized sport in 1868. The first world championship was in 1893 and cycling has been part of the Olympic Games since the modern sequence started in Athens in 1896.
Road racing in its modern form originated in the late 19th century. The sport was popular in the western European countries of France, Spain, Belgium, and Italy.
Some of Europe’s earliest road races remain among the sport’s biggest events. Early races include Liège–Bastogne–Liège (established 1892), Paris–Roubaix (1896), the Tour de France (1903), the Milan – San Remo and Giro di Lombardia (1905), the Giro d’Italia (1909) and the Tour of Flanders (1913). They provided a template for other races around the world. While the sport has spread worldwide, these historic races remain the most prestigious for a cyclist to win.
If you want to know more click here to go to the British Cycling website on Road Racing.