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The History of Professional Road Cycling

In: The Economics of Professional Road Cycling

Author

Listed:
  • Jean-François Mignot

    (Gemass)

Abstract

Why did cycling become professional as early as the late nineteenth century, while other sports (such as rugby) and other sport events (such as the Olympic Games) remained amateur until the 1980s? Why are the organizers of the most important bicycle races private companies, while in other sports such as soccer the main event organizer is a nonprofit organization? To what extent have bicycle races changed since the late nineteenth century? And how does cycling reflect long-term economic changes? The history of professional road cycling helps answer these questions and understand many related phenomena. This chapter provides a long-term, historical perspective on (1) professional road cycling’s economic agents, i.e., the public, race organizers, team sponsors and riders, and the relationships amongst them; (2) cycling’s governing body, the International Cycling Union; and (3) professional cycling’s final product, i.e., the show of bicycle races. More precisely, the chapter mostly focuses on the history of male professional road cycling in Western Europe since the late nineteenth century. It is founded on both an analysis of quantitative time series on the Grand Tours (and, to some extent, the classics) and a review of the existing literature on the history of professional cycling, whether economic history, institutional history, cultural history, or sport history.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-François Mignot, 2016. "The History of Professional Road Cycling," Sports Economics, Management, and Policy, in: Daam Van Reeth & Daniel Joseph Larson (ed.), The Economics of Professional Road Cycling, edition 1, chapter 0, pages 7-31, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:semchp:978-3-319-22312-4_2
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-22312-4_2
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    1. A Gift From Europe to the World: Globalization, Capitalist Expansionism and Professional Bicycle Road Racing
      by stefanotijerina in NEP-HIS blog on 2016-11-24 02:49:44

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Genoe & Ronald Rousseau & Sandra Rousseau, 2021. "Applying Google Trends’ Search Popularity Indicator to Professional Cycling," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 22(4), pages 459-485, May.

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