WHAT IS A BICYCLE RACE

/ WHAT IS A BICYCLE RACE /

In short, it's the "cycling version of a marathon".

While many might associate cycling competitions with "keirin" racing, cycle road racing involves covering long distances of over 100 km on public roads. The winner is the one who crosses the finish line first.

Cycle road racing is both an individual and a team sport.

Cycle road racing is a straightforward individual competition where over 100 riders start simultaneously and race to see who can reach the finish line first. However, in practice, it functions as a team competition with each team aiming to secure a win for their strongest rider.

The reason it becomes a team effort is due to the significant impact of "air resistance" in cycle road racing. To mitigate this, teammates create a formation, riding in front of their ace to reduce air resistance, allowing the ace to conserve energy for the final push. The key to victory lies in how well the team can preserve the ace’s strength until the last moments of the race.

In the final stretch, the ace, having conserved their energy, makes an all-out effort to secure the win for the team. The strategic interactions with other teams, such as when the ace decides to make their move to the front, are a highlight of cycle road racing. Though the rules categorize it as an individual sport, its essence as a team competition is one of its defining characteristics.

The primary metric of success in cycle road racing is "producing a winner from one's team, or achieving a high-ranking finish." Teams participate with six members, and if a team produces the winner, even if the other five members retire during the race, that team receives the highest evaluation. Conversely, if all six members finish the race but the top finisher from the team ranks low, the team's overall evaluation is poor.

TYPES OF CYCLE ROAD RACES

In addition to the standard road races mentioned above, there are other types of cycle road races:
Criterium: This race takes place on a closed circuit, typically 1 to 3 kilometers long, on park paths or public roads with traffic restrictions. Riders compete by completing multiple laps and aiming for the best position.
Individual Time Trial: In this race, each rider competes individually against the clock on a specified course, with the fastest time determining the winner.
Team Time Trial: Similar to the individual time trial, but teams of riders work together, racing against the clock to achieve the fastest overall team time.

THERE ARE FOUR MAIN CATEGORIES OF UCI SANCTIONED RACES

WHAT IS A UCI SANCTIONED RACE

UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) is the international governing body for cycling competitions. Being recognized as a UCI-approved race increases the event's appeal by ensuring the participation of high-profile teams (and riders) with significant drawing power.
UCI-approved races are categorized into four major grades. The higher the grade, the more prestigious and competitive the participating teams (and riders). Additionally, riders who participate in UCI-approved races earn UCI points based on their rankings. These points are crucial for securing entries to major events such as the World Championships and the Olympics.
Tour de Kyushu is classified under the UCI Continental Circuit Asia Tour as a Class 1 event. This designation means that only elite domestic and international teams registered with the UCI are eligible to participate, ensuring a high level of competition.

※ In road cycling, there are two types of races: "one-day races," which are completed in a single day (one race), and "stage races," which take place over two or more days (multiple stages).

IN 2024, SIX INTERNATIONAL RACES WILL BE HELD IN JAPAN

2023年、日本で行われる国際レースは8つ
2023年、日本で行われる国際レースは8つ
クラス名称の表記
ツアー・オブ・ジャパン ツール・ド・熊野 おおいたアーバンクラシック ジャパンカップサイクルロードレース ツール・ド・おきなわ

Teams also have categories, which determine the grade of race they can compete in.

UCI WORLD TEAM

This is the highest category, which attracts the world's top professionals. Teams are obliged to compete in all World Tour races. Can also compete in Pro Series and Continental Circuit Class 1 races. Cannot compete in Class 2.

UCI PRO TEAM

Can compete in the Pro Series and below (Can compete on the World Tour by invitation).

UCI CONTINENTAL TEAM

Can compete in the Pro Series and below.

NATIONAL TEAM

National teams representing their respective countries. Can compete in the Pro Series and below.

REGIONAL / CLUB TEAM

Club teams organized in a region. Can only compete in the Continental Series Class 2.