Road racing can be broadly defined as any cycling event that takes place on roads (or facilities not created for cycling). This then includes criteria, funfair races or circuit races. In a narrower sense, it is specifically the races that, in comparison to those mentioned so far, do not take place on a circuit but from one point to another (from city to city) or on a large circuit that is not usually completed several times.
In addition to track cycling, road races play an important role in the history of cycling and still contribute to its popularity today. One-day races such as the Monuments of Cycling (Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Lombardy, Milan-Sanremo, Tour of Flanders) have all been held for over 100 years. They still form the core of the WorldTour, along with the three GrandTours. A victory here is put on a par with the world title and is generally considered to be at least as difficult.
Especially in amateur sports, the presence of road racing unfortunately continues to decline. The reason for this lies primarily in the logistical effort involved in the organization. While only a small course needs to be closed for a circuit race or criterium, a road race requires the closure of many roads and intersections and also requires escort vehicles from the police and emergency services.
In addition to one-day events, road races are also held as stage races. This involves successive races taking place over a few days, a week or even a longer period of time. In addition to daily winners, an overall winner is determined from the sum of the events (e.g. based on total time or daily placings).