Cycling is one of the most competitive and grueling sports in the world. Cyclists work relentlessly to overcome many difficulties along the way. Competitors train hard throughout the year to be in shape for the main tournaments.
All of the races fall under the category of road bicycle races, where cyclist ride on paved roads and through cities and towns. Today, the Union Cycliste Internationale as the governing body of cycling notes 37 competitions that take place around the world.
There are different types of races wherein the most popular form is the stage race. Cyclists race across a country in a race that is divided into segments. The races usually last up to a month and cover the course of almost 4,000 km. We are now going to discuss the most important races and their rewards.
Tour de France
Tour de France is one of the most significant races in the cycling world. It is a permanent member of the Grand Tour, a collection of three most important races. The first race was organized in 1903 to increase sales for the newspaper L’Auto, and it has grown to become the world’s most important cycling race. It spans over 21 stages and 23 days, with a total of 3,500 km. The race goes through mountains, valleys, and cities during its course. The winner of each stage wears a special yellow jersey. The prize money has always been the award of the competition, and the winner is set to earn around €450,000.
First held in 1909, Giro d’Italia has been held annually as one of the three Grand Tours races. There are also 21 stages of the race, spanning over 23 days, giving the competitors a two-day break. The winner of the stage is given a much-coveted pink shirt.
The race usually starts and ends in Milan, as it has been the case for 50 years in respect to the headquarters of Gazzetta Dello Sport, the newspaper that founded the race. Now, cities are willing to pay a lot of money to host the start of the race. The prize money for the race is somewhere around €250,000.
Vuelta a España
Mirroring the success of Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, Juan Pujol of the daily newspaper Informaciones set in motion the first ever Vuelta. The race has the same structure as that of Giro d’Italia, with a difference in the color of the jersey the winner of the stage receives — red in this case. In Vuelta, as in Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, the most aggressive rider is given the Combativity award for his persistence and ardor presented in the race.