Six events were contested Ц two road bicycle racing events and four track cycling events. No women's cycling events were contested. France won three gold medals and Italy two, while Great Britain captured five medals overall, but none were gold. Road bicycle racing is a bicycle racing sport held on paved roads. The term "road racing" is usually applied to events where competing riders start simultaneously (unless riding a handicap event) with the winner being the first to the line at the end of the course (individual and team time trials are another form of cycle racing on roads). Historically, the most competitive and devoted countries were Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, however as the sport grows in popularity, countries such as Kazakhstan, Australia, Venezuela, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland and the United States continue to produce world class cyclists. Road bicycle racing began as an organized sport in 1868. The first world championship was in 1893 and cycling has been part of the Olympic Games since the modern sequence started in Athens in 1896. Road racing in its modern form originated in the late 19th century. The sport was popular in the western European countries of France, Spain, Belgium, and Italy. Some of Europe's earliest road bicycle races remain among the sport's biggest events. These early races include LiegeЦBastogneЦLiege (established 1892), ParisЦRoubaix (
896), the Tour de France (1903), the Milan Ц San Remo and Giro di Lombardia (1905), the Giro d'Italia (1909) and the Ronde van Vlaanderen (1913). They provided a template for other races around the world. While the sport has spread throughout the world, these historic races remain the most prestigious for a cyclist to win. Track Cycling is a bicycle racing sport usually held on specially built banked tracks or velodromes (but many events are held at older velodromes where the track banking is relatively shallow) using track bicycles. Track Cycling has been around since at least 1870. When cycling was in its infancy, wooden indoor tracks were laid which resemble those of modern velodromes, consisting of two straights and slightly banked turns. One appeal of indoor track racing was that spectators could be easily controlled, and hence an entrance fee could be charged, making track racing a lucrative sport. Early track races attracted crowds of up to 2000 people. Indoor tracks also enabled year-round cycling for the first time. The main early centres for track racing in Britain were Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester (national cycling centre) and London. The most noticeable changes in over a century of track cycling have concerned the bikes themselves, engineered to be lighter and more aerodynamic to enable ever-faster times. With the exception of the 1912 Olympics, track cycling has been featured in every modern Olympic Games. Women's track cycling was first included in the modern Olympics in 1988.