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Use of the bicycle in competitive sport or in recreation. The classic professional races are held mainly in Europe; the first was held in Paris in 1868. There are basically two types of race: road races and track races. The first U.S. cycling competition, a six-day race, was held in 1891. Six-day racing was reintroduced to Europe as a two-man team event in the 20th century, but it has largely died out in the U.S. The first Tour de France, the premier race, was held in 1903. Cycling has been part of the Olympics since the first modern games in 1896. Events include a variety of open-road and circuit races for both men and women.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cycling, visit Britannica.com.