If you like your World Championships courses with 5,000m of climbing rather than pan-flat Qatari deserts, then the 2018 course looks fantastic

The 2018 Road World Championships route looks set to be one of the toughest in history, with organisers of the race in the Austrian city of Innsbruck including ramps of up to 25 per cent in the elite men’s road race.

The official routes for all of the 2018 events, which take place from September 23-30, were revealed at the 2017 Worlds in Bergen with the elite men’s road race set to cover over 5,000m of climbing over a distance of 265km.

The men’s race will start in the town of Kufstein and begin with seven circuits of 24km of the ‘Olympic Circuit’ before heading northwards towards the Hungerburg settlement in the north where they’ll hit a climb featuring 25 per cent sections. The men’s peloton will then head back towards the centre of Innsbruck where the race will conclude.

Road races profile

The elite women’s race, which begins in the same place, will begin with a 90km run towards the Olympic Circuit in Innsbruck which they will cover three times for a race distance of 162.5km.

Only the junior women’s race begins elsewhere, with the junior men and U23 men also beginning in Kufstein to the east of Innsbruck. Each race will take on 72.4km, 138.4km and 186.2km respectively.

The men’s individual time trial will also feature some demanding climbing, with the 54.2km course covering a 4.4km climb that hits a maximum pitch of 14 per cent. They begin in Rattenberg and head west towards Innsbruck where the race finishes.

Men’s individual time trial profile

All the other time trials will start closer to Innsbruck in Hall-Wattens with the elite women covering 28.5km. Junior women ride a course of 20.2km, while the male juniors and U23s will ride the same 28.5km course.

Women’s individual time trial profile

The team time trials once again feature some tough climbing for the riders, with the men taking on a climb that hits 10 per cent. The men’s and the women’s race will both begin in Ötztal and finish in Innsbruck, with the men covering 62.1km and women covering 53.8km.

“After Villach in 1987 and Salzburg in 2006, it is a real pleasure to return to Austria with our leading road cycling event of the year,” UCI president Brian Cookson said at the course unveiling.

“The Organising Committee for the 2018 UCI Road World Championships has pulled out all the stops to design magnificent and challenging courses. I have no doubt that these race courses will get the approval of both the riders and cycling fans worldwide.”