bicycle racing

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bicycle racing



an internationally popular sport conducted on closed courses or the open road. Track racing takes place at a velodrome, usually a banked 1,093.6 ft (.333 km) oval. Olympic medals are awarded in individual and team track events, including the sprint, which features a duel between two finalists. Another track event is the pursuit, in which racers begin at opposite sides of the circuit and attempt to catch each other. The Olympics include road races, but the best-known road events are grueling multiday races, especially the Tour de France (begun in 1903), which covers some 2,500 mi (4,000 km) in more than 20 daily stages. Tour de France cyclists ride for teams that share prize money and employ various strategies to aid each other, but an individual winner emerges from both time trials and races over varied terrain, including downhill mountain rides at speeds above 70 mph (113 kph). The Tour is the best known of cycling's Grand Tours; the Giro d'Italia (begun 1909) and Vuelta a España (begun 1935) are the other two. In 1996 mountain biking, featuring varied off-road events (cross-country, hill climb, slalom), debuted as an Olympic event. Cyclocross, long popular in Europe and gaining in the United States, involves racing around an obstacle-filled course.

In recent years, professional bicycle racing has been marred by revelations of the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Several favorites were barred from the 2006 Tour de France as a result of doping charges, and the winner that year, American Floyd Landis, tested positive for high testosterone levels (and presumed testosterone use) and was ultimately stripped of the title. In addition, the long-dominant Lance ArmstrongArmstrong, Lance,
1971–, American cyclist, b. Dallas, Tex. He won (1991) the U.S. amateur cycling championship, turned professional (1992), and by the mid-1990s had won the Tour DuPont twice and was being hailed as the finest U.S. cyclist.
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 was accused, after his retirement, of doping by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and others. A 2012 report on professional bicycle racing the agency revealed the most egregious doping scandal and the most complex conspiracy to date in any competitive sport. It led the International Cycling Union, which governs the sport, to strip Armstrong (who asserted his innocence until 2013) of his Tour de France titles and to bar him for life from the sport.


See T. Hamilton, The Secret Race (with D. Coyle, 2012).

References in periodicals archive ?
Many supporters of cycle sport within the West Midlands are understandably very concerned that, due to the lack of a modern 250m indoor velodrome within Birmingham, the track cycling may be be held many miles from Birmingham.
Many supporters of cycle sport within the West Midlands are understandably concerned that due to the lack of a modern 250 metres indoor velodrome, the Commonwealth track cycling may be be held many miles away.
The government has committed to invest PS24m into the event, PS15m of that budget will be used to develop 27 cycle sport facilities across the UK which will leave a lasting legacy at grassroots level.
British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake said: "To get PS15m to invest in cycle sport facilities is massive and will truly leave a lasting legacy for this event.
We have literally taken scores of local youngsters off the streets in the long school summer holiday period and introduced them to a thrilling, healthy and exciting cycle sport.
Jonny Clay, British Cycling director of cycle sport and membership, said: "The fact that 10 World Tour teams have confirmed their place on the start line in Glasgow at this year's Tour of Britain is a fantastic endorsement and underlines the strong reputation that the event now holds within an ever increasingly competitive international calendar.
One male pro and one female pro rider - who have previously raced at an elite level in some form of cycle sport - will race for each team.
The aim is to ensure that cycle sport remains accessible throughout the world and that the key component to a performance remains the rider.
It will allow us to focus on developing riders to national and international events as the money goes directly to our race team across the cycle sport disciplines.
UK's cycling portfolio is already home to brands that include Cycle Sport, Cycling Active, Cycling Fitness, Mountain Bike Rider and the UK's biggest-selling cycling magazine, Cycling Weekly, and their websites.
Jonny Clay, cycle sport and membership director for British Cycling, said: "We have been working closely with the organisers of Velothon Wales for over a year now and we are very excited with how the project has developed.
The initiative is part of Go-Ride, British Cycling's youth development programme, which aims to introduce young people to the world of cycle sport.