Castles and climbs: 2023 Glasgow Worlds unveils road events course details

It looks like it's going to be a suitably tough day out for all comers

Matteo Trentin
Matteo Trentin wins Glasgow's European road title race in 2018
(Image credit: Glasgow World Championship)

For those eagerly anticipating this August's Glasgow World Championships, things just got a bit more real on Tuesday with the unveiling of the road race and time trial routes.

The courses look set to explore the best of Scotland's heritage, with lochs, castles and monuments all forming part of what promises to be an impressive backdrop.

Full details of the elite men's and women's, plus U23 road races have been unveiled, plus the time trial routes for both the individual and mixed team relay events. 

Initial details of the para-cycling road race routes have also been announced.

The elite men's race on 6 August will start at the old volcano of Arthur's Seat and pass by Edinburgh Castle as it begins, before heading north across the Firth of Forth on the Queensferry Crossing – usually motorway traffic only. 

Heading west through Fife they'll pass landmarks including the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel before tackling the climb of Crow Road as they turn south for Glasgow. 

Here, they'll take in 10 laps of a city centre circuit, including the climb of Montrose Street each time, before finishing alongside George Square, after a monstrous 271.1km.

The elite women's race (which includes the U23 women) on 13 August and the U23 men's races on 12 August both follow ostensibly the same route – starting on the shores of Loch Lomond and heading east then south and taking in the Crow Road, before dropping into Glasgow to take on the same finishing circuit as the men. The women tackle it six times and the men seven, for a total 154.1km and 168.4km respectively.

The riders can expect a lumpy day out all-round, with the elite men facing 3,570m of climbing, the elite women 2,229m and the U23 men 2,436m.

Glasgow city centre circuit

Glasgow's tough city-centre circuit

(Image credit: Glasgow World Championship)

The Glasgow circuit will also form the backdrop for the junior road races (5 August) and the mixed team relay (8 August).

The individual time trials will all be based on Stirling, starting in the grounds of Stirling Castle at the King's and Queen's knot, before heading out west along the flatlands of the River Forth on what is a fast course before returning to Stirling to a finish on the castle esplanade.

The U23 men (9 August) and elite women (10 August) both tackle the same 36.2km course, while the men's (11 August) is slightly longer at 47.8km. The junior women race on 10 August over a 13.4km course and the junior men the following day, taking on 22.8km.

The para-cycling events will take place in Dumfries and Galloway from 9-12 August, with the road races taking place on a 15.5km circuit that heads south out of Dumfries, and the time trials on an 11.5km loop to the west of the town. The team relay will be held in Glasgow on 13 August over nine laps of a 1.7km loop (15.5km in total).

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.