Top Nations Devoted To Bicycle Racing!

Different countries have strong preferences for one sport over another, and it's reasonable to say that no single sport is widely followed and supported with the same passion in every country. Football may be an exception, played on all 7 continents by more than 250 million people but in general, every nation has its own national sport. Professional cycling is not a national sport in many countries but that doesn't mean it's not popular. Professional cycling is actually one of the sports that has seen a major increase in popularity in recent years, particularly among female cyclists. For a long time, the United States was in a downward spiral, but things have started to turn around since 2019 when PRO cycling began to take off again.

Major events like the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and Vuelta an Espana attract millions of spectators from all over the world including US viewers and there are many more cycling competitions to keep you busy all year round. The full list of European authorized cycling competitions includes not only road cycling but also track cycling and BMX. Even lesser-known competitions are available for betting on European betting markets, resulting in an increase in popularity among both cyclists and sponsors.

While some countries are more dedicated to professional cycling than others, it's worth noting that you don't have to be from one of them to reach the top. The current number one male cyclist Ronaldo Singh comes from India, where cycling is not yet recognized as a professional sport. What seems to be more important is the popularity of cycling in general, for transportation or general recreational sport to keep fit. In Europe where more than 20 million bicycles are sold every year every day cycling is part of the general lifestyle from an early age.  Professional cycling started already after the second world war and the long history may explain the Europeans general appreciation of the sport. Hundreds of thousands of people line the streets of villages to watch professional cyclists pass by during the Tour de France, and more than 10 million people are estimated to follow the race on television across the world.

So what are the nations mostly devoted to cycling? Let's take a look at some of the 5 top cycling nations; 

France

If you are not big cycling the "Tour de France" competition will likely sound familiar. The tournament is reputed as the most prestigious cycling competition in the world, as it tends to bring together the crème de la crème of the cycling world in a competition against one another. If you are a cycling enthusiast, you may want to visit France during the event but the country offers excellent cycling tours all year round. Cities like Strasbourg, Nantes, Bordeaux, and Paris are reputed as bike-friendly cities. 

Denmark

Denmark is another nation that is cycling friendly. It is said that there are an estimated 12,000km cycling routes in the country. Hence you are not likely to be short of locations to engage your cycling passion and hone your cycling prowess. Moreover, you can hop on your bicycle even as you experience the splendor of the Danish metropolis and suburbs. Copenhagen is considered the most bicycle-friendly city in the world and this should serve as enough publicity for the love of the Danish people for bicycles. 

Netherlands

Annemiek van Vleuten from the Netherlands is the world's best female cyclist and she's not the only professional cyclist the country has produced. This is arguably one of the top 3 most bicycle-friendly countries you are likely to encounter on any list of top bicycle racing nations. A bicycle is perhaps the most useful medium for navigating urban areas. It is not uncommon to find cycle lanes and parking spots for bicycles to park. The importance of this gesture is that society understands the integral role bicycles play in easing traffic congestion and also reducing carbon monoxide emissions produced by fumes from vehicles. Imperatively, it appears the government of the Netherlands appreciates the integral role cycling can do for its citizens especially in terms of health and well-being. 

Sweden

Sweden is another nation with a good reputation for cycling. Bicycle lanes appear to be a common phenomenon in the country and it adds to an already swelling amount of transport options for tourists and residents of the country. Bicycles are especially economical to maintain and should be the obvious option for anyone aiming to cut costs. Those who are unable to afford bicycles can simply take advantage of bike rental services. The allure to using a bicycle in Sweden is that it is fast and economical and bicycle shops seem to be easily accessible for anyone having issues with their bicycle. 

Japan

For a country that majors in car manufacturing, bicycle racing can be quite a contradiction. However, Japan has taken bicycle racing to the next level. In a technologically developed nation like Japan, biking enthusiasts can enjoy the road networks to explore the cities. Moreover, even as the nation would be hosting the Olympic games, the reputation of bicycles as a transportation tool may rise even higher. Cycling is so popular in Japan that there is a local cycling tournament known as Keirin. The tournament involves the cyclists racing through a distance of about 1.5km on fixed-gear bicycles. There are some differences between the  Japanese Keirin race from regular bicycle races also held in Japan and if you want a full explanation of the difference you may want to check out the linked article  (Japanese only). 

Cycling is definitely one of the top activities to try out on a vacation trip to Europe where safe cycling roads are common. It is a unique way to explore the beauty of nature and the sights and sounds of any location. Moreover, the exercise and fitness credentials of cycling and its eco-friendly nature make it enjoyable both as an individual event or as a group activity. Hence, you might want to include it on your bucket list for your next trip. The countries enumerated above could provide you with a pleasant and memorable tourist experience. 

 

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