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From 4-meter sprints to the 4,800 km Race Across America, ever since bicycles have been around, people have wanted to race them. See how fast you can race through this exhibition about how bicycles got faster.
Bike racing was included as one of the events in the first modern Olympic games held in Athens, Greece in 1896, but the first bicycle race is popularly held to have been a 1.2 km (0.75 mile) race on the 31 May 1868 at the Parc de Saint-Cloud, Paris. The oldest continuously run bike race in the world is the Catford Hill Climb first raced in 1887. The climb is just 640 meters (700 yards) long yet averages 14% with gradients of 25% towards the summit. While the world’s shortest bike race actually gets shorter every year, it’s less than 4m, the longest bike race, the Trans-Siberian Extreme, is over 9,000 km (5,500 miles).
The most famous bike race though is the Tour de France, an annual men’s multiple stage bike race primarily held in France.
Due to the bike’s versatility there are several categories of racing including road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, mountain bike racing, track cycling, BMX, and cycle speedway. Non-racing cycling sports include artistic cycling, cycle polo, freestyle BMX, and mountain bike trials.