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Cycling Road


Cycling has proved incredibly popular ever since bicycles were invented in the mid-18th century. It has featured in every Olympic Games.

Early popularity

Bicycles were first developed in the mid-18th century and have been a popular form of transport ever since.

Big leap forward

In 1885, cycling took a big leap forward when J.K. Starley devised the chain-and-gearing system. Since then, engineers have embraced modern technology to build ever faster, sleeker and lighter bikes.

Popular in Europe

From 1880 to 1900, cycling became immensely popular both in Europe and the United States. The professional sport maintained its place in the public imagination, especially in Europe. Over the last 20 years, road cycling has experienced an movement towards globalization.

Olympic history

Like fencing and athletics, cycling is among the rare sports that have always featured on the Olympic programme. Road cycling, however, was not on the programme of the Paris 1900, St Louis 1904 or London 1908 Games.

The first road event in Olympic history took place in 1896 on the marathon route at the first Games of the modern era in Athens. The race started in Athens, headed towards Marathon, then returned to Athens, at the Phaliron velodrome.

Since the 1912 Games in Stockholm, the individual pursuit has been organised at each edition of the Games. The team time trial was on the programme between 1912 and 1992. 1996 marked the debut of the individual time trial at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Olympic cycling was added to the women’s programme in Los Angeles in 1984, with an individual road event. Later, in 1996, the individual time trial was included in women’s Olympic cycling, as it for the men’s.

The Europeans have always dominated Olympic cycling, particularly through the contribution of the French and Italians. Eastern European countries have also won many Olympic medals, especially in track cycling.

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Gallery

Cycling Road - Time Trial Women
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Cycling Road - Time Trial Women

Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands starts the Cycling Road Women's Individual Time Trial on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Pontal on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Cycling play
https://olympic-vh.akamaihd.net/i/Assets/MediaPlayer/Videos/Streaming/2016/08/rio/10/cycling-road-women-individual-time/cycling-road-women-individual-time_,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8

Cycling Road - Individual Time Trial Women - Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Highlights of the Cycling Road - Individual Time Trial Women on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Pontal on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
IOC
play
https://olympic-vh.akamaihd.net/i/Assets/MediaPlayer/Videos/Streaming/2016/08/rio/10/cycling-men-road/cycling-men-road_,0200,0400,0600,1200,1800,.mp4.csmil/master.m3u8

Cycling Road - Individual Road Race Men - Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Highlights of the Cycling Road - Individual Road Race Men on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Pontal on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
IOC
Cycling Road Race Women
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Cycling Road Race Women

Riders compete in the women's cycling road race during the first lap August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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Cycling Road Race Women
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Cycling Road Race Women

The Peloton roll through Grumari during the Women's Road Race on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Fort Copacabana on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Cycling Road Race Women
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Cycling Road Race Women

The Peloton roll through Grumari during the Women's Road Race on Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Fort Copacabana on August 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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