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Sport Overview

Road cycling has been contested at the Pan Am Games since the inaugural Games in 1951. Enthusiasm for road cycling began at the end of the 19th century and is one of the world’s most-watched sports.

In the mass start road race, riders begin in a bunch and teams work together in a mix of drafting, stamina and strategy over a 165-kilometre course for men and 82.5 kilometres for women. The first rider to cross the finish line wins. In the shorter (40 kilometres for men, 20 kilometres for women) individual time trial, riders start one by one at regular intervals, one or two minutes apart, in a race against the clock. The rider with the fastest time wins.

The road race will start and finish at Ontario Place and the individual time trial course will be on the roads in Milton, Ontario, near the newly built Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome.


History

The enthusiasm for road cycling competitions began at the end of the 19th century and has never stopped growing. Some big races attract spectators in the tens of millions and are watched by TV viewers worldwide.

The first officially recorded race, on May 31, 1868, at the Parc de Saint-Cloud in Paris, was won by British rider James Moore.

Moore also won the first recorded city-to-city race on November 7, 1869, from Paris to Rouen, riding 123 kilometres in 10 hours, 25 minutes. The organizers’ intention was to promote cycling while demonstrating that the bicycle was capable of covering considerable distances.

Road cycling has been part of the Olympic Games program since the modern-era Games began in 1896.


How it works

Road cycling takes place outdoors on asphalt roads. In the mass start event, teams work together in a mix of drafting, stamina and strategy over a 160-kilometre (99.1 miles) course for men and 80 kilometres (49.7 miles) for women. The first rider to cross the finish line wins.

In the shorter (40 kilometres for men, 20 kilometres for women) time trial, riders start one by one, 60 seconds apart. The rider with the fastest time over the course wins.

TYPES OF EVENTS:

Road race (part of the Olympic program):

The riders start together in a bunch. The courses are of varying distances (about 260 kilometres, for instance, for elite men in the UCI World Championships). Road races follow several different formats: one-day races from one point to another (such as Paris-to-Roubaix or the Tour of Flanders), on a circuit, such as the UCI World Championships, or stage races (such as the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a España).

Individual time trial (part of the Olympic program):

The individual time trial is raced over 40 to 50 kilometres (at the UCI World Championships and Olympic Games). The riders set off individually at regular intervals of one or two minutes. The competitor who completes the course in the fastest time is the winner.


Terminology

Breakaway
A rider or group of riders who have separated themselves ahead of the main pack.

Draft
To follow closely behind another rider to take advantage of their slipstream and expend less energy.

Echelon (or paceline)
A line of riders taking orderly turns at the lead and staggered in order for each rider to get maximum wind protection.

Peleton
The main group of riders.

Pull
To take a turn at the front and break the wind for other riders in the pack.

Additional Information

Additional Information