Top Cycling Competitions on the Globe

We’ve all heard of Tour de France as one of the biggest cycling competitions in the world. However, true fans of the sport know that there are many other events that merit equal attention. Imagine me saying that I’ve heard of and I have no idea what other similar sites there are.

Today, we will not just talk about Grand Tours, but also the one-day Classic races and Monuments. Here are some of the most important cycling events in the world.

UCI World Tour

Some might be surprised, but the Grand Tours are just a part of the much bigger racing tour. Each cyclist receives points during a number of events, including the Monuments. There are 38 events overall. Women are not to be outdone by men, because, as of 2016, they have their own UCI World Tour.


There are 5 bicycle races that are considered Monuments. The name comes from the fact that they are the oldest one-day events and the most challenging. Many cyclists try their luck because these races enable contestants to earn a large number of points.

La Primavera

This race has been around since 1907 and is held every March. It is favored by the sprinters and it runs from Milan to San Remo.

Ronde van Vlaanderen

While we are talking about bicycle races conducted on the road, it is inevitable to come across this event, known for its cobblestone sections. It is hard to pinpoint the start and the finish line, as they change annually.

L’Enfer du Nord

The Hell of the North comes just a week after the Ronde van Vlaanderen. It is also a cobblestone classic. It is easily the most challenging race.

La Doyenne

This is the oldest classic there is. It started in 1892 and is a special challenge for climbers.

Giro di Lombardia

If you are a climber who knows how to perform a solid sprint, this is the race for you. The course runs around Lake Como.

Grand Tours

Grand Tours are races that go on for weeks at a time, with enthusiasts following their favorite stars on a daily basis through several stages. There are three of them: Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España.

Tour de France

This race has been around for more than a hundred years. It started in 1903 and only took a break for the two World Wars. Every July, cyclists from all corners of the earth come together for an event that lasts for 23 days. Famous cyclists on the course include Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain.

Giro d’Italia

Also known simply as Giro, this tour is held in Italy, though it is not uncommon for the racers to pop over to neighboring countries. The racing format is similar to that of Tour de France – 21 days of racing and two days of recovery. Eddy Merckx dominated this tour as well, though Alfredo Binda and Fausto Coppi also made a name for themselves on this course.

Vuelta a España

Roberto Heras has won the most titles on this tour (4). It is the youngest of the three Grand Tours, with the first race held in 1935. Like Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, it gradually increased in length and is a UCI World Tour event, meaning that if you are not in a UCI World Tour team you cannot compete. That is, unless you are invited by the organizers.