As a stage race all cycling races are referred to, where for several days in succession individual competitions - are discharged, their results are added as driven times in an overall and together with it - so-called stages. This also applies to other sports such as: rallying and the Tour de Ski cross-country skiing.
Stage races are sometimes also referred to as tours, especially when the starting point of the first section and the destination of the last section are identical or stage race should cover a certain country or region. If, however, for the individual results and points awarded are added or plays the overall standings - as time rating - a over the daily evaluations (eg of the prize money ) rather subordinate role, then one speaks of a racing series.
After the end of the 19th century, more and longer one-day races were held, the cyclist increasingly overburdened (about 1891 Paris -Brest-Paris 1200 miles), only allowed the idea of a stage race the meaningful use of larger distances. As the first stage race in the world, the Tour de France in 1903 launched. Modeled after the tour a few years later were also in Belgium (since 1908) and Italy ( the Giro d' Italia, from 1909 ) introduced country tours.
The International Cycling Union UCI establishes a binding set of rules for international stage race. For national stage race, national associations can adopt different rules.
Inter alia, apply to international race the following rules binding:
- Stage race last at least two days and can consist of road races that are contested as one-day race, there are individual and team time trials; but not out criteria and circuit races.
- A stage race consisting exclusively of cycling teams.
- Score is a single rating by time. In international men's stage race, a team ranking is authentic by time. The Special Regulations of the organization may further provide ratings on Sporty basis ( eg, points, mountain, sprint, junior or team standings on points ).
- The leader of the overall standings with a special jersey to mark (usually the " Yellow Jersey "). Depending on the UCI category of the race can assign a maximum of three to five other leading jerseys for special valuations of the organizers.
- The total score results from the addition of each lap times, with the driver of a closed group are counted in this case with the same time and are counted only full seconds. Crashes, a driver on the last three kilometers of a stage or he has a defect, it is - except at a mountain top finish, or in a time trial - in the overall standings counted with the time of the group in which there was previously. In case of a tie, the first time the unrecognized fraction of a second of the ITT, then the addition of the single stage finishes and finally the placement on the last stage.
- The Special Regulations of the organization may provide that, for intermediate sprints and stage finish (except for time trial ) bonus seconds for the general classification - will be awarded, for example, in Grand Tours 20, 12 and 8 seconds at the target destination and 6, 4 - not for the team title and 2 seconds at up to 3 intermediate sprints. The inclusion of the results of the team time trial stages in the overall ranking is also determined by the Special Regulations of the event.
- The team score results from adding the times of the three fastest drivers of each team on each stage.
- The Special Regulations of the organizer specifies the maximum time during the different stages depending on the characteristics of fixed ( time trial, mountain stage, flat stage ) of the stage. If the driver exceeds this waiting period - usually a percentage surcharge on the time of the winner - so he should not start with the next stage. In exceptional circumstances (such as storms ) can the jury make an exception.
- The stage race, instead of a stage start with a prologue, which will be held as a short individual time trial.
Important stage race
" Grand Tours"
The most famous and oldest by far stage races and cycling event ever is the 1903 launched in July and has since been discharged annually Tour de France. In addition to the Tour and the Giro d' Italia are ( in May, since 1909 ) and the Vuelta a España (September, since 1935 ) counted among the " Grand Tours". The " grand tours " stand out above all through their period of three weeks each, as well as an extremely challenging route profile.
Other international men's stage race
Other major stage race for men are in the UCI World Tour: summarized ( 2005-2010 UCI ProTour ). By the year 2008, Germany was one trip to the UCI ProTour.
Below the Pro Tour UCI established in 2005, the UCI Continental Circuits (UCI Africa Tour, UCI America Tour, UCI Asia Tour, UCI Europe Tour and UCI Oceania Tour ) and others with other international stage race. The most important men still remaining German stage race, the Tour of Bavaria, which is listed in the hors categorie the UCI Europe Tour.
Women's Stage Race
With the progressive development of women's cycling, there are increasingly high-class women's stage race. Among the most important of the Giro d' Italia Femminile and the International Thüringen Tour of the women heard. The Grande Boucle Féminine ( "Tour de France of Women" ), however, lost more and more important and was not held in 2010.