Road Cycling

Road Cycling

Road Cycling is the most widespread form of cycling.

Dedicated road bicycles have drop handlebars and multiple gears, although there are single and fixed gear varieties. Road bikes also use narrow, high-pressure tires to decrease rolling resistance, and tend to be somewhat lighter than other types of bicycle. The light weight and aerodynamics of a road bike allows this type of bicycle to be the most efficient self-powered means of transportation a person can use to get from one place to another. The drop handlebars are often positioned lower than the saddle in order to put the rider in a more aerodynamic position.

What are the different types of road racing events? 

Road race

Traditional road racing is the most popular form of cycling and is held on paved roads and surfaces, where the first past the line wins after a mass start. Often there are a number teams racing who work together during the race using various tactics. Road race distances can vary but at an elite level are roughly between 100 and 240 kilometres. There can be single day road races or multi stage races such as An Post Rás Tailteann
. Road racing bikes have narrow, high-pressure tires to decrease rolling resistance, and generally lighter than other types of bicycle.

Time trial

Time trials see riders race solely against the clock as they ride individually over a set distance, with the aim of completing the course in the shortest amount of time. Road time trials are generally held over shorter distances than road races of usually between 30 and 100 kilometres. There is also often a short time trial of around 8 kilometres at the start of some stage races called a prologue, which determine who will be the first cyclist to wear the leaders jersey. Cyclists often use special time trial bicycles, which is mainly distinguishable from a regular road bike due to presence of aero-bars,that help the rider to become more aerodynamic.

Hill climb

The hill climb is a form of cycling that involves riders climbing up a hill that continues to gain altitude along a steep gradient until they reach the summit. Hill climbs usually take place at that the end of the traditional cycling, and the 2017 Irish National Hill Climb Championships took place in Castledaly, Co. Galway, at which riders completed a 1.8 kilometre ascent.

Team Time Trial

Like the regular time trial, the team trial involves racers battling against the clock to complete a specific course in the shortest amount of time. However in the team time trial, the cyclists complete in teams riding out at equal intervals. The cyclists in any one team employ tactics such as ‘drafting’ (riding in each other’s slipstream) to improve their times. Members of a team will usually take turns cycling in front to conserve energy.


Criterium racing is a type of racing that consists of several laps of a circuit. The circuit in a criterium race is usually short distance of around about 500 metres to 1000 metres. The length of a criterium can be set by the number of laps or by the total time race takes. Sometimes it even isn’t determined when a criterium race is set to finish until after the race starts. Criteriums also sometimes borrow from the point’s race structure, with the top five riders getting a certain number of points. As the cyclists ride around the circuit a number of times this makes it a good spectator event.


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