Glasgow’s hosting of the inaugural Cycling World Championships in 2023 will take place across the whole of Scotland, it has been revealed.
Less than two years out from the UCI’s new event that will bring 13 different world championships together in one place across 10 days for the very first time, the CEO of Glasgow 2023 has informed Cycling Weekly what the championships will look like.
Taking place between August 2023 - a month before the traditional road world championships block - world champions will be crowned in road, track, mountain biking, para-cycling, BMX, indoor and Gran Fondo events. The UCI intends on repeating the championships every four years, in the season before the Olympics.
Glasgow will host most of the championships, but Trudy Lindblade, the event’s CEO who has relocated from her native Australia for the job, said that the entire nation will see the world’s best cyclists.
“Glasgow is the hub, the primary host, but this event is pan-Scotland," she told Cycling Weekly.
"We’ll be announcing most venues over the next six months, and there will be elements of the Worlds in the north, in the south, from east to west. It will take in a lot of Scotland.”
All road events will finish in George’s Square in the centre of Scotland’s largest city, while it is expected that the downhill mountain bike events will take place in Fort William. Track events will be held in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
“It’s a mega event,” Lindblade said. “We want to make it one of the top-10 most watched sporting events in the world. There’ll be 8,000 athletes competing if you include amateur Gran Fondo riders.
“If you think about it we are like a Commonwealth or European Games, a multi-sport event of 13 disciplines. People will go ‘wow’ because this is so much bigger than anything that’s came before.
“We will get to showcase that cycling is a diverse sport, and Scotland is the perfect stage for the UCI to do that.”
Glasgow successfully hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and held the British Road Race Championships the year previously. It therefore has pedigree in hosting cycling events.
“We have great geography here in Glasgow and Scotland to create exciting, technical courses,” Lindblade added.
“Whether it’s road, track, mountain bike or indoor cycling, we need to provide a platform for athletes to shine. I can’t tell you today if the courses will be punchy or for sprinters, but they will showcase the best of Scotland.
“We have the opportunity to be innovative. This has never been done before. It’s a challenge for myself and my team and how to set the first edition up for success. Hopefully in 100 years time this is still happening every four years.”
The city has been in the world’s focus for most of the past month thanks to the hosting of the climate change COP26 conference.
It is hoped that the forthcoming World Championships will have learned from what was discussed at COP26 and be not just a sustainable event but help get more people cycling.
“Our motto is the power of the bike and I really believe in that,” Lindblade said. “Because it’s the power of the bike to win a world championships, but also the power of a bike to get to work, to go to the shop, to see a friend.
“We need more people on bikes. We have an opportunity here to tell people that cycling is an alternative more of transport, that it’s good for our mental health, for tourism.”
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