Cycling 07-19-2004 10:28

Cycling is not only one of the most popular means of transportation nowadays; it is also one of the favourite recreational sports for people of all ages. The tricks used by modern technology to exploit muscular energy have been known since antiquity: they can be found in machinery invented by the ancient Greeks for architectural purposes and in the systems of winches operated through cranks and chains that were used aboard sailing ships or in mines during the 18th century.


Three Cycling disciplines are included in the Olympic Games sports programme: Road cycling, Track cycling, and Mountain Bike.

Road Cycling is considered by many people as the top cycling discipline, as it takes place on public highways, with courses that contain uphills and downhills as well as straight stretches and technically difficult turns.

Track cycling is more specialised and more complex than other Cycling disciplines. It consists of short-, medium-, and long-distance events, where speed, endurance and tactics are important factors in gaining the victory.

Mountain Bike started in the US (California) in the mid- 1970鈥檚 as a form of entertainment and recreation. It rapidly developed into one of the most thrilling international sports.

ATHENS 2004 Cycling

Road cycling includes two events: the road race, an endurance event, and the individual time trial. The 2004 Road Race will be held in the historical centre of Athens, and the individual time trials at the Vouliagmeni Olympic Centre. Both events will be held from 14 to 18 August.

Track cycling will be held from 20 to 25 August in the Olympic Velodrome at the Athens Olympic Sports Complex (OAKA), while Mountain bike events will be held on 27 and 28 August in Parnitha Olympic Mountain Bike Venue, in Mount Parnitha, in the Municipalty of Acharnai.


The first bicycle was built in 1790 by a French aristocrat, Count Sivrac. It was made of wood and had no steering wheel or pedal. Forward motion was possible only by thrusting one鈥檚 feet towards the ground, one after the other. In 1817, the German aristocrat Baron von Drais introduced the concept of turning the front wheel in different directions. In 1861 the motive power was invented by Pierre Michaux, and later perfected by an Englishman, J. K. Stanley. In 1887 an Irishman, John Boyd Dunlop, invented the inner tube, which was later refined by Edouard and Andre Michelin.

The first bicycle race took place in 1868 in Paris. The first World Championship was held in 1895.

The original two cycling disciplines 鈥 Road race and Track cycling 鈥 were included in the first Olympic Games of modern times in Athens in 1896. A Greek athlete, Aristides Konstantinidis, was crowned gold Olympic winner on March 31, 1896 for the 87km endurance road race, which started from Athens, went out to Marathon and ended at Faliro.

At that first modern Olympic Games in 1896, the track events were held at the Faliro Velodrome 鈥 what is today known as the Karaiskaki Football Stadium.

The International Cycling Union was founded in Rome, four years after the first modern Olympic Games. It was a merger between the Cycling Federations of Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and the USA. Today the UCI numbers more than 170 national federations among its members spread across the Cycling Unions of five continents.

In Greece, cycling first appeared in 1885. Five years later, in 1890, the first Greek cycling races were held. The first Panhellenic Cycling Championship was held in 1929; in 1937, the Greek Cycling Federation (POE) was founded.

After World War II, it was integrated with the Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics. This lasted until 1972, when the Hellenic Cycling Federation (E.O.P.) was founded.

In the early 90鈥檚, Mountain bike made its debut in Greece, replacing cyclo-cross. In 1996 the discipline was officially recognised by the E.O.P. Cycling has rapidly expanded throughout Greece, and Greek athletes鈥 performances in competitions has been impressive.

Source:The official website of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Editor:Wang  Source:

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