With cycling becoming a popular exercise form, there are more racing for amateurish riders and professional cyclists to test their own abilities, including physiological and technical abilities. Cycling racing can make you realize your aerobic endurance, upper-body strength and bike handling.
Participating in a racing can be very exciting. You can find friends here and find some interesting ways to ride. Besides, you can develop better biking skill and increase confidence. The sport divides to 3 types: road race, track race, and off-road race. It can be divided by age: Juniors, Seniors, and Masters. Usually including level A-age 17-18, B- age 15-16, C- age 13-14 and D-age 12 and under in Juniors. In order to learn more about cycling racing, here is the introduction of some types of racing for you.
Cross-country is held on a circuit contained single and double-track trails, usually with some wider gravel road for better passing. Generally speaking, there are not too many roadblocks on the roads, like logs, rocks, mud holes. Cyclists compete against other riders in their age and ability category. The typical cross-country lasts about 2 hours and its distances are different from men and women, 22-28 miles for men and 16-22 miles for women. They may have individual or mass start race which includes 100 to 150 riders. No matter which type of start, the winner is the rider with the fastest time, that is to say, the rider across the finish line.
As for off-season training, this type racing has a long history of road races and it has been attractive to off-riders as well. Because of the high-speed and obstacles that need to run dismounts and slippery sections, cyclists should build bike-handling skills. A typical cyclocross lasts about 1 hour and contains some kinds of terrain in a short course. Cyclocross bikes are similar to road bikes for its rugged tubing and wider tires.
As its name refers, downhill is a sort of mountain biking on some steep, rough terrain, known as a gravity event. It often has jumps, drop, rock and other obstacles. Downhill is an individual time trial event. Racers start and timed intervals (usually at 30 seconds) and try to traverse the challenging course as fast as possible. The competitor with the fastest time wins. A downhill race is typically 4 to 8 minutes.
- Dual Slalom
In this type race, two cyclists race head-to-head down parallel slalom courses, belonging to gravity event as well. Usually, the courses are short and last about 30 seconds for one race. It contains tabletop jumps, doubles, and bermed turns. Two competitors race each other twice. The slower one will be eliminated and the faster one will go to the next round until they have 2 riders left racing in the final.
Super D combines two aspects of downhill and cross-country events. There are more descending than ascending in a course and the course is less technical than downhill events, for instance, there is no jump in this course. Moreover, it is used to test the endurance and bike-handling skills.
- Observed Trails
Generally speaking, the observed trail is a sort of obstacle course, including natural and man-made obstacles, like logs, rocks, water, tables, cars, etc. Courses are short. The condition to win is to complete this course without putting a foot down (dabbing) or using a hand to keep balance. Each dabbing adds points to the racer’s score. The cyclist with the lowest score can win the game.
- Road Race
The road race is a mass-start event on the open paved road without obstacles. It is the most popular professional form of cycling racing. The course may from point to point, for example from town to town, or on a circuit that start and finish are the same places. Riders in groups or individual rider race to set the finish point. The first rider who pass the finish line is the winner. Besides, the course distance is up to a couple hundred kilometers long (over 100 miles) and the course is closed to traffic in the area of the race.
This event is a short road race on a circuit. It is usually on city streets and closed to traffic. The racing distances may vary from 1/2km to 3km (1/3 mile to 2 miles) per lap. Races are numbers of laps. A criterium is a mass-start event. The high-speed cornering and sprinting make participants and spectators excited. The spectator can be better to watch the racers than road races because criterium passes the same point each lap.
The time trial is an individual or team race against the clock over which a fixed distance. Riders start at timed intervals, individual. The winner is the rider with the fastest time. The racing distances vary from 1km to 100km. This course can be from point to point or on a circuit which the start and finish points are in the same place. It is also closed to traffic in the area of the competition.
A Madison relay is the tag-team relay of track racing. A sling-shot technique is used to switch position. The event requires the burst of speed, dangerous maneuvering and a high level of endurance. Since 2000, it has been an Olympic event.
- Olympic Sprint
In Olympic Sprint, two teams containing three riders each start on opposite sides of the track. At the beginning, the first rider of each team leads the team around the track. At the end of the first lap, the first rider pulls off the track and the second rider continues leading his team around the track. After a lap, the third rider completes the final lap of the race by himself. The team with the fastest time is the winning team.