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UCI Road World Championships: Tradition, Evolution And Innovation

UCI Road World Championships: Tradition, Evolution And Innovation

UCI Road World Championships: Tradition, Evolution And Innovation

For most Elite cyclists worldwide, the UCI World Championships are the highlight of the year, with each UCI World Champion earning the right to wear the prestigious rainbow jersey for the following 12 months.

For road cycling – one of cycling’s five Olympic disciplines – the UCI World Championships offer 11 world titles across the different races and categories. The UCI Road World Championships are traditionally held over eight days in September with around 1000 athletes – men, women, Juniors, U23 and Elite – converging on one region in a bid to become UCI World Champion.

Years of planning go into the organisation of the Road World Championships, which are a magnificent showcase not only for the sport but also for the host city/region.

In 2018, the UCI Road World Championships were organised in Innsbruck-Tirol in Austria. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) collaborated closely to provide a range of spectacular race routes, starting at different venues and finishing in the city of Innsbruck. The racing was exciting and unpredictable, and while thousands of spectators watched the racing from the roadside, millions more followed the action on television.

TV viewers throughout Europe watched nearly 50 million hours of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships on public service media, thanks to a partnership between the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the UCI.  Overall, the event was aired in 53 European countries, with coverage provided by Eurosport in non-free-to-air countries.

Additionally, the 2018 UCI Road World Championships were broadcast in almost 100 countries around the world, confirming they are one of the most viewed road cycling events of the year.

Despite the proven success and popularity of the UCI Road World Championships, the UCI continually strives to innovate without detracting from the sport’s deep-rooted traditions that saw cycling join the Olympic programme in 1896.

This desire to improve and move with the times has prompted the creation of a new event at this year’s UCI Road World Championships, to be held in Yorkshire (GBR): the team time trial mixed relay. To be raced by national teams of three women and three men, this will shine the spotlight on National Federations and encourage gender equity, with men and women competing in the same event.

Another innovation is the creation of the UCI Cycling World Championships which will be organised for the first time in 2023, in Glasgow and Scotland (GBR). This unprecedented event will bring together 13 of cycling’s UCI World Championships: road, track, mountain bike (XCO, XCE, XCM, DHI), BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle, trials, indoor cycling, para-cycling track, para-cycling road and Gran Fondo. This huge cycling festival will be held every four years, preceding each Olympic year.

Still looking forward, the UCI Road World Championships will be organised next year in Aigle and Martigny (SUI), then in Flanders (BEL) in 2021, in Wollogong (AUS) in 2022 and in the German Part of Switzerland (SUI) in 2024.

The only continent that has not yet hosted an edition of the UCI Road World Championships is Africa. To redress this imbalance, the UCI has invited the countries of Africa to present bids to host cycling’s flagship event in 2025. This will be a landmark event in cycling’s history and consolidate the growth of the sport in Africa.

Founded in 1900 in Paris (France), the Union Cycliste Internationale is the worldwide governing body for cycling.  It develops and oversees cycling in all its forms and for all people as a competitive sport, a healthy recreational activity, a means of transport, and a fun activity. The UCI manages and promotes the eight cycling disciplines: road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle, cyclo-cross, trials and indoor cycling.


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