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A road race is a mass start event held on an open road from one point to another or on a circuit longer than five kilometers. The first rider across the finish line is the winner. A common feature of road racing is riders on the same team pacing one another. Teammates and sometimes rivals exchange the lead to provide protection from the wind or to open a gap to gain an advantage over the rest of the field.

A break occurs when one rider or group of riders accelerate to “break” away from a larger group or “pack”.


A criterium is a short road race of several laps on a circuit- usually city streets – closed to traffic. The distance per lap varies from 0.5 kilometers to 3 kilometers.


A stage race is a multi-leg event in which the overall winner is the rider with the lowest total time for all the stages. The world’s best known stage race is the Tour de France where competitors cover over 4000 kilometers in 21 days. In a stage race a rider must complete each stage within a time limit to be eligible for the next stage.


A time trial is an individual race against the clock over a fixed distance. Distances vary from one kilometer to 40 kilometers.


The Olympic road events consist of a road race and an individual time trial for both men and women. The men’s road race covers a distance of approximately 200 kms and 100 kms for the women.

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