Cycling is a sport in which athletes ride a bicycle as fast as they can from a starting line to a finish line. Usually, these races span miles but there can be some shorter races as well. Athletes must endure pain and strategize to move past other cyclists in order to get the lowest time and place possible. Cycling is an extremely difficult sport but it is also an incredible exercise and is often done by many people in order to get into better shape. Cyclists often focus on stretching and hydration to get them through long races but even that cannot completely subdue the exhaustion and pain that cyclists can feel when participating in a race, especially if the terrain is a difficult one. For example, hilly terrain is one that is more difficult for riders as biking uphill can burn a lot of energy and strength.
In the case of a group finish, the Chief Judge of the race is supposed to place as many athletes as he possibly can before going to visual evidence. This happens in a case where athletes' places are tough to judge with the naked eye as riders are incredibly close together. Photo finishes are often used to determine who made it over the finish line first in a sport like cycling.
In all cycling events, helmets are required and any rider without a helmet can face suspension or disqualification. Helmets are a necessary piece of equipment to protect a rider's head in the event of a crash or fall and thus the rules surrounding the helmet are enforced strictly.
All communication between riders, coaches, and other competitors during a race is completely prohibited. If caught, a rider faces suspension or disqualification from the race and could face further discipline. This is done in order to prevent cheating and or interference between competitors.
Courses may be one place to another or in a circle, any combination of these is allowed. However, a course may not cross itself meaning that there is a place where riders may have to ride across other riders. This could cause crashes and possible injury to many riders and must be avoided.
Teams may file protests against incidents with placing. This basically means that any time they believe a referee got it wrong they can file a protest for the incident and visual evidence may be brought into play. Protests must be submitted in writing to the Chief Judge who then takes it into consideration and consults with other officials.
If repairs or mechanical issues need taking care of during a race a biker may pull off to a repair pit. Athletes must be in this pit to receive any assistance in terms of repairs or mechanical problems. If this rule is violated it can result in suspension or disqualification.
A lapped rider or rider who is seen to have fallen out of contention can be removed from the course by the Chief Judge if he feels necessary. To be out of contention a rider would have to be lapped by his competition are fall so far behind it is almost impossible to catch up.
Riders must conduct themselves in a respectable manner while competing. This means that they must not yell at referees or fight with other competitors. A rider with bad conduct can face penalties to their time, suspension, or disqualification. In an intense and close together sport like cycling emotions can escalate often so it is important to keep one's composure.
In all cycling events that take place on actual streets, these streets must be closed to traffic. Otherwise, riders would be at risk of a crash and potentially life-threatening injuries. Barriers or cones must be used to line the streets keeping automobiles out of the way of the cyclists and the race at hand.
The use of headphones during races is completely prohibited. This is due to the fact that they could be used as an advantage or a form of cheating during a race. Races cannot use them even if they are just listening to music while they race.