The entire world of cycling lives according to the rules approved by the International Cyclist Union – Union Cycliste International, abbreviated as UCI. The main headquarters of the UCI is located in Switzerland. The organization was founded in 1900, that is, three years before the first Grand Tour. Now the President of the UCI is Briton Brian Cookson (pictured).
The powers of the UCI include writing the rules and regulations of major competitions, holding world championships, registering speed records, cooperating with anti-doping agencies, creating a calendar and ranking bicycle relay. Also, this organization controls and sets the rules not only in road cycling, but also in such disciplines as track cycling, mountain biking, cyclocross, BMX, artistic cycling and veloball.
How to choose races and understand what to watch?
Here we have to say thanks to the guys from the UCI, they have already collected all the important cycling relay in their calendar. We recommend that all future and current fans pay attention to this document in the first place. It lists the races of all categories in each of the types of cycling. We would advise you to start your cycling experience with the World Tour races, a complete list of these races can be found in the UCI WorldTour tab.
It is also worth noting that this calendar does not include national championships, world championships and the Olympic Games. We will probably tell you more about the categories of races in the following materials. Now let’s take a closer look at the world tour calendar.
What are the races? And their characteristics?
The most obvious way to classify the races on the World Tour calendar is by their duration. Three separate categories are immediately evident:
- One-day trips: “Milan – San Remo”, “Paris – Roubaix”, “Tour of Flanders”, “Liège – Bastogne – Liege” and others. These relays are classic relays and take place within one day.
- Multi-day events: “Paris – Nice”, “Tirreno – Adriatico”, “Criterium du Dauphine”, “Tour of Switzerland” and others. This class of races takes place over 6 to 9 days.
- Grand tours or super multi-day tours. There are only three of these races, and even if you are just starting to get involved in cycling, you have definitely heard of at least one of them: Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España.
The main characteristics of the route itself can be the following:
- length, that is, mileage, the longest one-day, for example, is “Milan – San Remo”, its length is almost 300 kilometers;
- track profile – hills, mountains and slopes from them, all these details add tactical features to the relay;
- type of road surface – in addition to asphalt, it can be a cobblestone pavement as in the northern one-day relays, and unpaved sections as in Italian relay.
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