Cycling Road

Facts

Discipline of Cycling
Participants 3359
NOCs 146
Competitions held 65 (Venues)
Distinct events 10
IF Union Cycliste Internationale

Description

Bicycles were first developed in the late 18th century and have since been used as a form of transportation. Originally the front wheel was much larger than the rear wheel and the rider was elevated a great deal, making them difficult to control and very dangerous. In 1885, J. K. Starley of England devised the more modern bike with a chain and gearing to allow the wheels to be of equal size. Although bike races had been held on the old “penny farthings”, the new bikes stimulated the growth of bicycle racing as a sport.

From 1880-1900, road cycling became immensely popular both in Europe and the United States. The sport was primarily a professional one at that time. The sport continues its grip on the European continent to this day, but bike racing ceased to be a popular sport in the United States at about the time of the Great Depression. Only the American Olympic victories at Los Angeles in 1984 and the later exploits of Greg LeMond and Lance Armstrong revived interest in bicycle racing in the United States.

Cycling consists of several disciplines on the Olympic Program: road cycling, track cycling, mountain biking, and BMX. Road cycling events were held at the 1896 and 1906 Olympics, and then have been on the Olympic Program continuously since 1912. In early years the road events were usually an individual road race, contested as a time trial through the 1932 Olympics, with a team road race event based on individual placements, or in some years, based on total times. In 1960 a 4-man team time trial was added over approximately 100 km, and was on the Program through 1992. Since 1996, men have contested an individual road race and an individual time trial.

Women first competed in Olympic cycling in 1984, when an individual road race was the only cycling event on the Olympic Program for women. In 1996 an individual time trial was added for women, similar to the men.

The Europeans have dominated Olympic cycling, notably the French, British, Italians, and Germans. However, the East Europeans also won many medals, especially on the track, though mostly prior to the fall of the Soviet bloc.

Road cycling is governed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) which was founded on 14 April 1900 in Paris, with five founding members: Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. The UCI was established as an alternative to the International Cycling Association (ICA), which had been set up in 1892. In 1965, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) required the UCI to split into an amateur and a professional organization, the Fédération Internationale Amateur de Cyclisme (FIAC) and Fédération Internationale de Cyclisme Professionnel (FICP), respectively. In 1992 the FIAC and FICP rejoined to form the UCI. As of 2020 the UCI had 193 members.

All-time medal table

Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Italy ITA 9 7 3 19
Netherlands NED 9 3 2 14
France FRA 8 4 6 18
United States USA 5 4 4 13
Soviet Union URS 5 0 3 8
Belgium BEL 4 4 6 14
Sweden SWE 3 5 8 16
Switzerland SUI 3 3 3 9
Russian Federation RUS 3 1 4 8
Great Britain GBR 2 8 6 16
Germany GER 2 7 3 12
Denmark DEN 2 5 1 8
Australia AUS 2 1 1 4
East Germany GDR 2 1 0 3
Spain ESP 2 1 0 3
Kazakhstan KAZ 1 1 0 2
South Africa RSA 1 1 0 2
Ecuador ECU 1 0 0 1
Greece GRE 1 0 0 1
Poland POL 0 4 2 6
West Germany FRG 0 2 2 4
Canada CAN 0 1 2 3
Colombia COL 0 1 0 1
Portugal POR 0 1 0 1
Norway NOR 0 0 2 2
Czechoslovakia TCH 0 0 1 1
Latvia LAT 0 0 1 1
Lithuania LTU 0 0 1 1
Slovenia SLO 0 0 1 1

Intercalated Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
France FRA 1 1 1 3

Youth Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Colombia COL 2 0 0 2
Italy ITA 1 2 0 3
Denmark DEN 1 1 1 3
Czech Republic CZE 1 1 0 2
Kazakhstan KAZ 1 0 0 1
Austria AUT 0 1 0 1
Luxembourg LUX 0 1 0 1
Netherlands NED 0 0 2 2
Great Britain GBR 0 0 1 1
Hungary HUN 0 0 1 1
Ukraine UKR 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel NED 3 0 0 3
Kristin Armstrong USA 3 0 0 3
Henry Hansen DEN 2 1 0 3
Fabian Cancellara SUI 2 1 0 3
Armand Blanchonnet FRA 2 0 0 2
Robert Charpentier FRA 2 0 0 2
Vyacheslav Yekimov RUS
URS
2 0 0 2
André Noyelle BEL 2 0 0 2
Attilio Pavesi ITA 2 0 0 2
Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli FRA 1 2 1 4

Intercalated Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Fernand Vast FRA 1 0 0 1
Maurice Bardonneau FRA 0 1 0 1
Edmond Luguet FRA 0 0 1 1

Youth Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Nikola Nosková CZE 1 1 0 2
Barbora Průdková CZE 1 1 0 2
Sofia Beggin ITA 1 1 0 2
Chiara Teocchi ITA 1 1 0 2
Jhonnatan Botero COL 1 0 0 1
Jessica Legarda COL 1 0 0 1
David Oquendo COL 1 0 0 1
Brayan Ramírez COL 1 0 0 1
Brandon Rivera COL 1 0 0 1
John Rodríguez COL 1 0 0 1
Roman Lehký CZE 1 0 0 1
Jan Rajchart CZE 1 0 0 1
Gleb Brussensky KAZ 1 0 0 1
Yevgeny Fedorov KAZ 1 0 0 1
Sofie Pedersen DEN 1 0 0 1
Mie Saabye DEN 1 0 0 1

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Road Race, Individual Men 27
Individual Time Trial Men 6
Road Race, Individual Women 9
Individual Time Trial Women 6
Combined Team Boys 2
Combined Team Girls 2
Combined Team Mixed Youth 1
Relay Mixed Youth 1
Road Race, Team Men 9
100 kilometres Team Time Trial Men 9