Famous World Cycling Races

The famous cycling races that stand out above all the rest. The most famous and the oldest is the Tour de France. In Italy they hold the Giro d’Italia and Spain schedules the Vuelta de Espana.  

All the races are difficult as some measure endurance and speed while others test the strength of the riders and many of them put all of these together into their cycling races. 

The first three on our list constitutes a contest called the Grand Tour. They produce a winner for each one and they put it together for a Grand Tour winner. Here are some of the top cycling races in the world:

world cycling


  1. Tour de France – This first began in 1903 and last between 21-23 days with each day being a different stage or course. This is the most popular of the cycling races and is the most prestigious. This race tests endurance and strength. 
  2. Next on the level of famousness is the Giro d’Italia. They began in 1909 and are part of the Grand Tour. It is set over 24 days and has 21 stages. The major difference in this race and France is the Italian courses are mainly altitude climbs with many through the Alps. The winner is determined by the lowest time over all 21 stages. 
  3. Vuelta a Espana is the other famous cycling race that is part of the Grand Tour. This race is primarily set in Spain. It was created in 1935 with 21 stags over 23-24 days and the route covers the perimeter of Spain. The winner is determined by the lowest combined time over all of the stages. 
  4. Tour de Suisse is for 9 days and many feel it is a warm up for the Tour de France. This race takes place in Switzerland and many courses are in the Alps.
  5. Tour Down Under is in Australia and is the opening event for each season. This is for six days and is usually in mid-January and uses flat courses. 
  6. Paris-Nice began in 1933 and it an eight day race. The nickname for it is “Race to the Sun” Each race starts in Pariz and finishes in Nice. 


Other World Cycling Races of interest 


Tirreno-Adrictico and is set between the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian coasts of Italy. It began in 1955 and goes for seven days. 

Tour de Romandie is mainly time trials and the least time is the winner of this 6 day race with 8 stages in Switzerland.

Volta a Catalunya first raced in 1911 and is held in Spain. It is a seven day race that heads into the northern sections of Spain. Many courses are in the Pyrenees mountains. 


World Cycling Races and the UCI

These races are under the direction of the Union Cyclist International (UCI) and they have 38 world cycling races under their umbrella. 


UCI World Tour

All of these famous races are a part of the UCI World Tour. The longest, hardest, and most prestigious of the World Tour is the three Grand Tours. There are 13 one day races in various countries around the world. Some of the best known cyclists are entered in all 38 races.

Olympic Cycling Races

The International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 have announced the routes on which the world’s top cyclists will compete for medals in the men’s and women’s road races. The scenic landscapes, iconic mountain backdrops and tough nature of the course will make for dramatic viewing.

The men will embark on a 230km route with nearly 5,000m of elevation gain. Setting out from Musashinonomori Park in Chofu, western Tokyo, they will head through stunning landscapes towards the iconic Mount Fuji, taking in three prefectures en route: Kanagawa, Yamanashi and Shizuoka. The race will finish on the Fuji Speedway, the motorsport race track that has hosted Formula 1 Grand Prix events.

2021 UCI WorldTour Calendar:

19 – 24 January: Santos Tour Down Under (Australia)
31 January: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (Australia)
21 – 27 February: UAE Tour (United Arab Emirates)
27 February: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite (Belgium)
6 March: Strade Bianche (Italy)
7 – 14 March: Paris-Nice (France)
10 – 16 March: Tirreno-Adriatico (Italy)
20 March: Milano-Sanremo (Italy)
22 – 28 March: Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (Spain)
24 March: AG Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne (Belgium)
26 March: E3 BinckBank Classic (Belgium)
28 March: Gent-Wevelgem in Flanders Fields (Belgium)
31 March: Dwars door Vlaanderen – A travers la Flandre (Belgium)
4 April: Ronde van Vlaanderen – Tour des Flandres (Belgium)
5 – 10 April: Itzulia Basque Country (Spain)
11 April: Paris-Roubaix (France)
18 April: Amstel Gold Race (the Netherlands)
21 April: La Flèche Wallonne (Belgium)
25 April: Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium)
27 April -2 May: Tour de Romandie (Switzerland)
1st May: Eschborn-Frankfurt (Germany)
8 – 30 May: Giro d’Italia (Italy)
30 May-6 June: Critérium du Dauphiné (France)
6 – 13 June: Tour de Suisse (Switzerland)
26 June-18 July: Tour de France (France)
31 July: Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa (Spain)
9 – 15 August: Tour de Pologne (Poland)
14 August – 5 September: La Vuelta Ciclista a España (Spain)
15 August: EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg (Germany)
22 August: Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France (France)
30 August – 5 September: BinckBank Tour
10 September: Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (Canada)
12 September: Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (Canada)
9 October: Il Lombardia (Italy)
14 – 19 October: Gree – Tour of Guangxi (China)




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