While it may just seem like cycling is about getting from Point A to Point B, the fastest pro tours like the Tour de France are actually made up of three different contests with riders who specialize in each.
Sprints: After long flat stages, teams push to the front of the pack to set up their "sprinter." Sprinters are the most powerful riders in the tour and are similar to runners in the 100-meter dash. Excitement stems from two hours of riding coming down to a 10-second sprint to the finish.
Mountains: The mountain climbers are a completely different breed from the sprinters. These riders are long and lanky so they can outlast the others on the steepest stages. They don't try for the sprints, just as sprinters do not try to win in the mountains. The mountains of France are what break the riders. No rider can win the Tour without being good in the mountains.
Time Trials: There are two time trials in the Tour de France, one individual and one team. Time trials are short stages that remove most of the outside elements of the sport. Call them the free throws of cycling. You can win it without being good at them, but it's difficult.