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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June 2004, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
Beginner's guide to cycling events
A mountain bikes makes a bumpy descent
Mountain biking can be a rough ride
Cycling has provided the Olympics with some of its most stirring moments over the past century.

There are 11 different types of cycling events, requiring different skills, strengths and equipment.

They can be split into three categories: track, road and mountain biking.


Cyclists contest a variety of events on an inside oval track banked at 42 degrees.

In total there are eight different races testing speed and stamina: Time trial, Sprint, Individual pursuit, Team pursuit, Points race, Madison, Keirin and the Olympic sprint.


The road race is a straight battle to win, as in a stage of the Tour de France. Men ride 239 kilometres, while the women compete over 120km.

The time trial is also like any seen in the sport's great tours. In staggered starts, men compete over 45.8km and women over 31.2km and the fastest cyclist wins gold.

Mountain biking

A straight race over rough terrain, the object is to finish first.

Men race a distance of 40-50 kilometres and women 30-40km.

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