Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel

mæs stɑːrt reɪs

noun, phrase

Mass Start Race is a duathlon event in which all competitors start the race at the same time.

Example usage: The mass start race at the duathlon was very intense!

Most used in: Countries where duathlon is a popular sport such as the US, UK, and Canada.

Most used by: Duathlon cyclists who take part in competitive races.

Popularity: 8 out of 10.

Comedy Value: 4 out of 10.

Also see: Criterium, Peloton, Road Race, Time Trial,


What is a Mass Start Race?

A mass start race is a type of bicycle race where all of the participants start at the same time. This type of race is usually seen in road races, track races, and cyclo-cross events. It is popular in professional cycling, with the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia being the two most famous mass start races.

In a mass start race, the riders are typically lined up in a single row at the start line. The race begins when a gun or whistle is sounded, signalling the start of the race. The riders then race for a predetermined distance, with the first rider to cross the finish line being declared the winner.

Mass start races can be highly competitive and exciting to watch. Professional cyclists from around the world compete in these races, with the winners being awarded medals and prize money. The Tour de France is the most prestigious of all mass start races, with the winner being awarded the coveted yellow jersey.

According to statistics from the International Cycling Union (UCI), there are over 200 mass start races held around the world each year. The majority of these are road races, with the most famous being the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and Vuelta a España.


The Origins of the Cycling Term 'Mass Start Race'

The term 'Mass Start Race' is used in cycling to describe a particular type of race format. This format is characterized by a large number of riders competing simultaneously, with the intent to complete a course in the fastest time. The term was first used in the late 19th century in France, to describe a particular type of road race.

The first mass start race is believed to have been held in Paris in May 1878. This race was held as part of the 1878 Paris–Rouen race, a long distance cycling event. It was the first race to feature a large number of riders competing at the same time, with the goal of completing the course in the fastest time.

Since this first race, the term 'mass start race' has been used to describe a variety of cycling races, including track cycling, mountain biking, and cyclo-cross. Today, mass start races are a common feature of the cycling landscape, and are seen as a unique and exciting way to experience the sport.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3