Origin of the Sport

Bicycling was first developed in the mid-19th century with the first recorded race taking place over 1200m in 1868 in Paris. Early track racing took place in the 1870s and later rapidly developed across Europe and the USA following the development of the chain gearing system. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) - the current global governing body for the sport – was formed in 1900. Cycling first featured at the inaugural 1896 Olympic Games and is one of only a handful of sports to have featured at every Olympic Games. Road and Track cycling are the two most traditional disciplines within the sport, although both Mountain Biking and BMX racing also feature as part of the current Olympic programme

How it Works

Road racing is traditionally organised in a mass start Road Race run over variable distances with the first past the post winning the event. The Time Trial sees cyclists compete solo over a set distance with positions determined by time.

Common track races include sprint, time trial, scratch, pursuit, points and team pursuit and team sprint races. The time trial, individual pursuit, team pursuit and Team Sprint races are determined by time with the cyclists racing over a set distance. The scratch and points races are mass-start with the former raced over a set distance with the first across the line winning. The points race is determined by points accrued over certain allocated laps. The sprint race is a head-to-head best of three competition between two riders.    

Expected number of participants: 1400

Kiwi Hero – Sarah Ulmer

Coming from a rich cycling heritage, her grandfather, Ron, represented New Zealand at the 1938 Empire Games and her father, Gary, was a national road and track champion, Sarah was always destined for a future in the sport. Excelling on the track, specifically in the individual pursuit, she won successive Commonwealth gold medals in her specialist event at the 1998 and 2002 Games. However, her finest hour came at the 2004 Athens Olympics where she struck gold in a new world record time.  

Did You Know?

With 15 medals, Cycling was New Zealand's most successful sport at the 2014 Commonwealth Games more than the next three best sport's combined; judo (5) swimming (4) and athletics (5).

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