There are some Events that send the cycling community buzzing with excitement all over the country. From bike shops in Sydney to velodromes in Melbourne, bike lanes in Brisbane to cyclist cafes in Perth, these events capture the attention and imagination of passionate cyclists and the bike-lover community at large.
These are the top 5 cycling events across the globe, a must-see for any true cycling fans and the ultimate achievement for competitive Aussie cyclists.
Tour De France
Held annually in France and passing briefly through neighbouring countries the Tour De France is arguably the world’s most popular, prestigious and renowned cycling event. The race is made up of multiple stages; there are speedy flat stages, demanding hilly stages, gruelling mountain stages and time trials for both individuals and teams. The Tour takes the best of the world’s cyclists all over France, through its picturesque countryside and breathtaking alpine country, which brings spectators from all across the globe in even greater numbers than contestants.
Vuelta a España
The Vuelta a España, or Tour Of Spain, is another of the three major events that make up the illustrious Grand Tours series, along with the Tour de France and the Giro D’Italia. Held annually since 1955, this race takes riders all over Spain, through its towns, cities and countryside, with brief passes through neighbouring countries. The race is comprised of 21 day-long stages with at least two time trials conducted throughout the competition. Riders traverse Spain, scale the majestic ranges of the Pyrenees Mountains and finish up in the Spanish capital of Madrid.
The Giro D’Italia, or Tour of Italy in English, is the other tour that combines with the above two races to form the Grand Tour series. As its popularity has grown throughout the years its peloton has seen a great increase in international competitors since its primarily Italian-dominated beginnings, as well as an increase in foreign spectators. Its route through historical towns and stunning coastal vistas, past ancient landmarks, over breathtaking Italian countryside, through the Dolomites make it one of the most remarkably scenic competitive rides in the world.
Tour Down Under
The Tour Down Under is the first major cycling event of the year, occurring annually in Australia each January. A relatively new race, the Tour Down Under first occurred in 1999, quickly gaining popularity and taking out the title of the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest cycling event. Part of the UCI world tour since 2008, this week long race brings the world’s top competitive cyclists to Australia to compete across Adelaide and regional South Australia. With it, the tour brings an electric party atmosphere, creating a truly unique combination of fun, fanatics and serious competiton.
Ronde van Vlaanderen
Belgium’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, or Tour of Flanders, sees competitive cyclists from all across Europe pedal their way across this small but unique country every spring. Though most of its competitors hail from the surrounding European countries, the race continues to gain popularity as part of the UCI world tour, enticing more and more international cyclists and spectators from year to year. Nicknamed “Flanders Finest”, the race leads riders through cobblestoned roads and iconic landmarks, past wartime relics and through quaint, traditional Belgian Villages. It’s the pride of Belgian cyclists and a favourite for passionate spectators. So whether it’s your dream to compete or a life-long wish to watch those bikes race past you in any of these incredible locations, it’s well worth getting yourself to these truly iconic races.
Written by Kevin Shaw