Cycling road is the oldest and most popular form of bicycle racing. It has appeared as an organized sport since the mid-1800s and is one of the few sports that have been in the Olympic games since 1896. The world's most famous cycling event, the Tour de France, is a cycling road event, and the sport is most common throughout Europe.
In cycling road, racers compete on paved roads for long periods. These competitions are different than cyclocross or mountain bike racing, which involves at least partial use of an off-road track. There are various challenges cyclists face. Road cyclists have had to adapt to a growing number of changes over the years, including inclines, distances, and types of races.
There are four main types of road cycling races: Single-day, time trial, stage, and ultramarathon races. All four of these races require different skills and times to compete. Cyclists compete either individually or as part of a team. Team competitions may involve different roles to complement the strengths of each cyclist. These roles include all-rounder, chronoman, climber, domestique, puncheur, and sprinter.
The main structure of a road cycling race involves the peloton, or main group of cyclists, and breaking away from it. Riders will stay in the peloton to try and draft behind other players before breaking away. This structure also involves smaller groups of collaborative teams when applicable.