Embark on a thrilling journey through the diverse world of road cycling events. From the endurance-testing Audax rides to the challenging Gran Fondos, this guide aims to introduce you to a variety of events that cater to all skill levels and interests. Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or a newbie looking to venture into the exciting realm of road cycling, this comprehensive overview will give you a glimpse into the unique characteristics and demands of each event. Learn about the origins, format, and preparation strategies for each type of race, and perhaps find your next cycling adventure along the way. Stay tuned as we pedal our way through the exhilarating world of road cycling events.


Gran Fondo

Gran Fondos are long distance, mass-participation cycling events that are popular in Italy. They are not races, but rather personal challenges against the distance, the clock and oneself.

Read more about the term 'Gran Fondo' including its origins.



Similar to a Gran Fondo, a Sportive is a non-competitive long distance cycling event that's popular in the UK. Riders aim to complete the course within a certain time limit.

Read more about the term 'Sportive' including its origins.

Cross Country Marathon Cycling


A criterium, or crit, is a race consisting of several laps around a closed circuit, the length of each lap or circuit ranging from about 800 m to 10,000 m.

Read more about the term 'Criterium' including its origins.


Circuit Racing

Circuit Racing is a type of cycling event that is sure to get the heart racing! It is a mass-start road-cycle race somewhat similar to a criterium but with longer laps which involves multiple laps around a closed course, testing the cyclist's speed and endurance. It's the perfect balance of intense competition and thrilling entertainment, making it a favorite among cycling events cyclists.

Read more about the term 'Circuit Racing' including its origins.


Time Trial

In a time trial, cyclists race alone against the clock on flat or rolling terrain, or up a mountain road. There are also team time trials where groups of riders start the race together.

Time Trial is the cycling term for a race against the clock. It's one of the most exciting events for cycling events cyclists, as they have to push their limits and see how fast they can ride, all while keeping an eye on the ticking second hand. It's a thrilling event that tests both speed and endurance, making it a favorite among cycling enthusiasts.

Read more about the term 'Time Trial' including its origins.

TT time trial cycling

Stage Race

A stage race such as the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia or Vuelta a España consists of several races or stages ridden consecutively. The competitor with the lowest cumulative time to complete all stages is declared the overall, or general classification (GC), winner.

Read more about the term 'Stage Race' including its origins.


Road Race

A road race is a competition for road-going bicycles on a course marked out over public roads. Road races can range from a flat circuit to severe climbs. Cyclists put their pedal to the metal to see who can get to the finish line first. It's a thrilling event where cyclists show off their skills and endurance as they battle it out on the open roads. It's a fun event for cyclists of all levels to take part in, and is definitely a must-see for any cycling events fan.

Read more about the term 'Road Race' including its origins.


Track Cycling

Races that take place on a velodrome. The events are generally split into sprint races and endurance races.

Track Cycling is the type of cycling event where cyclists ride on a fixed oval track, usually made of wood or concrete. It's the kind of sport that requires a lot of skill and focus, and it's also incredibly entertaining to watch! Spectators can expect to see some intense competition, as cyclists battle it out to be the fastest on the track!

Read more about the term 'Track Cycling' including its origins.



An Omnium is a multi-race event that takes place on a velodrome (an arena for track cycling). It includes several different races, with the overall winner determined based on points accumulated across these races. Races can include time trials, individual pursuits, elimination races, and more.

Read more about the term 'Omnium' including its origins.


Audax or Randonneuring

These are long-distance cycling events where participants aim to complete the course within specified time limits. The riders are self-supported and must navigate the course themselves.

Each of these types of events has different requirements for the rider and different types of bikes might be needed. The type of event a cyclist chooses to participate in will often depend on their personal preference and strengths as a cyclist.

Read more about the term 'Audax' including its origins.


Ultra-Endurance / Ultramarathon

These are extremely long-distance races often conducted as time trials over distances far longer than the traditional road race. The races are typically over 1000 miles long. Examples include the Race Across America (RAAM) which is 3,000 miles and the Transcontinental Race which covers a similar distance.

Read more about the term 'Ultra-Endurance' including its origins.


And there you have it, a thrilling journey through the diverse landscape of road cycling events. From the camaraderie of Audax to the competitive spirit of Grand Fondos and the novelty of Sportives, the world of cycling is as vast as it is exciting. Whether you're seeking a challenge, looking to make new friends, or simply want to explore the world on two wheels, there's a cycling event out there for you. So, dust off your helmet, pump up those tires, and embrace the journey ahead. Because in the world of cycling, every ride is an adventure, and every turn of the pedals brings you one step closer to your next great story. Happy cycling!


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