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Cycling is one of the few sports that has been on the programme of every Olympic Games. The programme has varied but now consists of road races, track races and mountain biking. Road racing has been on the programme of every Olympic Games with the exception of 1900, 1904 and 1908. In Athens in 1896, the original Olympic road race took place on the marathon course, with the riders travelling from Athens to Marathon and then returning to Athens' Phaliron velodrome.

An individual road race was contested at the 1896 Olympics and at all of the Olympic Games since 1912. A team road race event was also on the programme from 1912 to 1956. This event consisted of adding up team placements or times from the individual road race. In 1960, the team road race was replaced by a 100 kilometre team time trial. The team time trial was dropped from the Olympic programme after the 1992 Olympics, and the individual time trial on the road was returned to the programme after 64 years of absence. Women began competing in cycling at the Olympics in 1984, with an individual road race as the only event. In 1996 and 2000, women also competed in an individual road time trial, similar to the men.

The Europeans have dominated Olympic cycling, notably the French and Italians. However, the Eastern Europeans have also won many medals, especially on the track.


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