The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has invited the countries of Africa to present bids to host the 2025 World Road Championships.
A letter of invitation and document designed to help candidates with their bids has been sent to all 50 National Federations of the African Cycling Confederation - in a move which backs up the UCI's hopes to see Africa host the event and "consolidate the growth" of cycling on the continent.
UCI President David Lappartient announced an African World Championships as a goal during his presidential campaign in 2017, and it's one which was unanimously adopted by the Management Committee in June 2018.
In a press release issued on Friday July 27, Lappartient said: “The staging of the UCI’s flagship event in Africa in 2025 will represent a significant step forward in growing the popularity of our sport. It is an occasion that will see the world’s top riders, hundreds of reporters and hundreds of thousands of spectators come together for the very first time in Africa, over the course of eight whole days."
The deadline for bids is September 2019 - following which the UCI's Management Committee will select a city, and annual it at its annual Congress.
"I strongly urge the continent’s National Federations, in partnership with the prospective host cities, to present bids to stage this historic event.
"The Management Committee and I are delighted to see Africa host the UCI Road World Championships and for the continent to have the opportunity to show its passion for and commitment to cycling. We cannot wait to join the fans in watching the events,” Lappartient said.
Africa has already hosted the Mountain Bike and Para-cycling Road UCI World Championships, in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, in 2013 and 2017 respectively. It also hosts races within the UCI Africa Tour calendar - such as the Tour du Rwanda, the Tropicale Amissa Bongo, and the Tour du Maroc.
The UCI has a satellite centre in Capetown, South Africa - and has worked with a selection of riders who have made it to WorldTour level - with around 1,000 trainees coming through the centre in the last 15 years. Notable graduates include Eritreans Daniel Teklehaimanot (Cofidis), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data) and Tsgabu Grmay (Trek Segafredo), and Ethiopia’s Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data).
Daryl Impey (Mitchelton Scott) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla) are other examples of African athletes who have been successful on the World stage. Team Dimension Data, meanwhile, is based in South Africa and has been a registered WorldTour team since 2016.
Up until the 1977, the UCI Road World Championships were held in Europe - but they've ventured far and wide in recent years - with 2016's event in Doha, 2015's races in Richmond and 2010's events in Melbourne.
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