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Single day races

The first competitor to cross the finish line after completing the prescribed course is declared the winner. Race distances vary from a few kilometres to more than 200 km. Courses may run from place to place or comprise one or more laps of a circuit; some courses combine both, ie: taking the riders from a starting place and then finishing with several laps of a circuit usually to ensure a good spectacle for spectators at the finish. Races over short circuits often in town or city centres are known as criteriums. Some races, known as handicaps, are designed to match riders of different abilities and/or ages groups of slower riders start first, with the fastest riders starting last and so having to race harder and faster to catch other competitors.


Single day Nocturnal races

Nocturnal races are an attempt to bring in larger crowds. A good example of this is the Shropshire Star Newport Nocturne, which is Britains only floodlit cycle race.


Stage races

Consists of several races stages ridden consecutively. The competitor with the lowest cumulative time to complete all the stages is declared the overall, or General Classification GC, winner. Stage races may also have other classifications and awards, such as individual stage winners, the points classification winner, and the King of the Mountains or Mountains classification winner. A stage race can also be a series of road races and individual time trials (some events include team time trials). The stage winner is the first person to cross the finish line that day or the time trial rider or team with the lowest time on the course. The overall winner of a stage race is the rider who takes the lowest aggregate time to complete all stages accordingly, a rider does not have to win all or any of the individual stages to win overall.

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