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Grand Tours
The most famous cycling race is the Tour de France, a multi stage tour over three weeks nominally through France, traditionally ending in Paris. Similar long multi stage tours are held in Italy the Giro D talia and Spain the Vuelta a Espana. These three races make up the Grand Tours.
 

 Olympic games

The historian Wlodzimierz Golebiewski says Cycling has become a major event on the Olympic programme Like many other sports it has undergone several changes over the years. Just as there used to be track and field events such as the standing high jump or throwing the javelin with both hands, cyclists, too, used to compete for medals in events which today have been forgotten for example in Athens in 1896, they attempted a 12 hour race, and in London, in 1908, one of the events was a sprint for 603.49 metres 660 yards. The Olympic Games has never been as important in road cycling as in other sports. Until the distinction ended, the best riders were professionals rather than amateurs and so did not take part.

 

UCI ProTour events

Professional racing is governed by the Union Cycliste Internationale. In 2005 it instituted the UCI ProTour to replace the UCI Road World Cup series. While the World Cup contained only one day races, the ProTour includes the Grand Tours and other large stage races such as Tour de Suisse, Paris Nice and the Criterium de Dauphine Libere

The former UCI Road World Cup one day races which include all five Classic cycle races or Monuments  are also part of the ProTour Milan-Sanremo Italy, Ronde van Vlaanderen Belgium, Paris Roubaix France, Liege Bastogne Liege Belgium and Amstel Gold Race Netherlands in the spring, and Clasica de San Sebastian Spain, HEW Cyclassics Germany, Zuri Metzgete Switzerland, Paris Tours France and Giro di Lombardia Italy in the autumn season.

 

Paris-Rouen

The success of the races in the Parc de St Cloud inspired the Compagnie Parisienne and the magazine Le Velocipede Illustre to run a race from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to the cathedral in Rouen on 7 November 1869. It was the worlds first long distance road race and also won by Moore, who took 10 hours and 25 minutes to cover 134 km. The runners up were the Count Andre Castera, who had come second to Moore at St Cloud, and Jean Bobillier, riding a farm bike that weighed 35 kg. The only woman to finish within 24 hours was the self styled Miss America, in reality an unknown English woman who, like several in the field, had preferred not to compete under her real name.

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