There are all kinds of racing events that occur throughout the sporting year, not only cycling. In the western world when we talk about “racing” we usually talk about either cycling or Formula 1 but in the Arabic world, it means camel racing. I know this because I subscribe to the articles from racingsporttalk.com and it’s fascinating to see articles about camel racing next to articles about Michael Schumacher. Camels, cars, or bicycles, it’s all about the race. As many professional athletes would agree, cycling races are some of the most demanding both physically and mentally. If you think about it, these guys are cycling for thousands of miles during major races, and day after day they push their bodies to the absolute extrema. On top of that, they’ve constantly got another cyclist that is trying to steal their thunder.
With that in mind, we’d like to highlight some of the top cycling races of the year and of course share why these three races are so special in the first place.
1. Tour de France
Not only is the Tour de France the single most attended sporting event in the entire world, but it is a race that has brought fully grown men to their knees. To say that this event is ruthless would be the understatement of the century. This three-week tour proceeds around the whole of France and participants must navigate the Alps as well as the Pyrenees in the process. Those mountain stages are where champions are made, and we’ve seen the greats of the past all shine through when riding over the insane inclines that this race offers.
As if all of this wasn’t quite difficult enough, the Tour de France is usually held in June, which is, of course, the French summer. While this country doesn’t quite have summers that provide 40 degree plus weather, the temperatures are certainly far from comfortable when riding through hundreds of miles. Finally, this event has seen some of cycling’s true legends lift the trophy numerous times. The likes of Eddy Merckx and Jacques Anquetil have managed to win the event 5 times each, which is just staggering when you consider how difficult it is to win this event even just once!
2. Giro d’Italia
To add to the excitement of the Tour de France in cycling, the Giro d’Italia is another one that never fails to entertain the fans. In fact, the Giro d’Italia is actually one of the Grand Tours in cycling that is held in Europe, combined with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. Unlike the other tours, however, this one has a bit more on the line for most riders that are involved. That’s because there is always hot competition to see who will obtain the pink jersey, who will rack up points in the sprints, who the best young rider will be, and more.
All of these prestigious categories are decided over the course of 21 stages. And as is the case with the other prestigious cycling races, there are some stages that are absolutely brutal. Whether it’s the distance of the stage or the sheer difficulty of the mountainous terrain, the Giro d’Italia always serves up an event that you just cannot take your eyes off. The race itself has actually been running since 1909 too, so we think it’s safe to say that the Giro d’Italia is here to stay.
3. Vuelta a Espana
Last but not least, the Vuelta a Espana tops off our coverage of the main cycling races of the entire racing calendar. This one is actually the newest addition to the Grand Tours of Europe, as it has been held every year since 1955. What’s quite cool about this race is that it was initially only going to be open to Spanish riders, but it has since been opened up to host some of the very best cyclists in the world. And just like the other two races we’ve mentioned, the Vuelta a Espana consists of 21 stages that are spread over 3 weeks.
Over this 3 week period, the participants will cover several thousand miles of road, and they will climb some of the most difficult mountains in the Pyrenees. It’s certainly not a race to get involved with unless you have superhuman fitness, although with each passing year the cyclists just seem to get fitter and fitter. We are seeing races completed in shorter times than ever before, more attacking cycling styles, and most importantly – heightened excitement levels for the entire race period!
These three cycling races are arguably the most demanding races every professional cyclist wants to participate in and they are fun to watch. If you are a fan of road cycling, these really are events that you simply cannot miss out on. And if you feel like expanding your knowledge about camel races, turn on Google translate and check out the website mentioned in the introduction. It’s worth it!