Most Famous Cycling Races in the World

Cycling is one of the most popular sports in the world with many prestigious competitions. Of which, Paris-Rouen, Tour de France, and Giro D’Italia are the most well-known cycling races worldwide.


Launched in November 1869, Paris-Rouen was the first cycling race to cover the distance between two cities. The winner of the famous competition was English cyclist James Moore, who covered a distance of 123 kilometers in ten hours and 45 minutes.

2/Tour de France

Tour de France is the most famous multi-stage bicycle race in the world. The competition was established in 1903. Until now, it was organized over 100 times with a route covering 3,500 kilometers over 23 days. Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, and Miguel Indurain are the only driver to manage to win five times each. 

3/Giro D’Italia

Giro D’Italia was held the first time in 1909 to promote the sales of La Gazzetta Dello Sport newspaper. The European multi-staged race became the second most challenging race to win, behind Toure de France. The Giro D’Italia race is usually organized in late May and early June with no fixed route within 23 days. The record winners of the race with five champions were Fausto Coppi, Alfredo Binda, and Eddy Merckx.

4/Vuelta a España

Vuelta a España is also the most popular cycling race in the world. Launched in 1935, Vuelta a España is the third famous European Grand Tour after the successes of the Tour de France and Giro D’Italia.

The race has been held for over 70 times so far, with 21 day-long segments and two additional rest days. The first winner of the event was Belgian cyclist Gustaaf Deloor. Meanwhile, Spanish cyclist Roberto Heras records most wins in 2000, 2003, 2004, and 2005.

Road cycling sporting events also have been a part of the Olympic Games since the first modern Olympic event in 1896 in Athens. The events included five track races and one road race with 87 kilometers from Athens to Marathon and back. Today, cycling sporting events are held for both men and women.