The 2017 UCI Road World Championships will be held in Norway, with some tough climbs on the routes representing a very different event when compared to what we saw in Qatar last year.
Hosted by the wettest city in Europe – Bergen – weather conditions could also play a key role in the races taking place from Sunday, September 17 to September 24.
The winners of the titles will gain the honour of wearing the rainbow jersey for the year ahead – here’s a look at the courses that will face the riders doing battle this year…
Men’s elite road race on Sunday, September 24
The final race in the week long championships will be the men’s elite road race, taking place on Sunday, September 24.
The riders will cover a total distance of 276.5km – starting in Kollsnes, they’ll loop out to a 19.1km circuit around Bergen which they’ll repeat 12 times.
From the start, the riders roll 10km to the Rognesund Bridge, before another 20km to Kolltveit where there is a short 400m climb before a flat 3km to the Sotra Bridge that leads to the mainland.
After 40km, the riders are on to the circuit. Starting from Festplassen, the route travels through a 200m tunnel, then enters the Puddefjords Bridge. The first climb – 2km in, is at Solheimsviken and is 500 metres long. The second covers 5km, with 1km at 5 per cent.
The real decider is likely to be the third climb – this goes some way up the slopes of Mount Ulriken and entails a 1.4km ascent with an average gradient of 6.5 per cent, before a descent into Bergen. From there, there’s 8km to the line – the final 3.5 of which are flat.
Junior men, racing on the same day, will complete the same route, but covering just five laps of the circuit as opposed to eight – completing 135.5km in total.
Recent men’s world champions
2016 Peter Sagan (Slovakia)
2015 Peter Sagan (Slovakia)
2014 Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland)
2013 Rui Costa (Portugal)
2012 Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)
2011 Mark Cavendish (Great Britain)
2010 Thor Hushovd (Norway)
2009 Cadel Evans (Australia)
2008 Alessandro Ballan (Italy)
2007 Paolo Bettini (Italy)
2006 Paolo Bettini (Italy)
Women’s elite road race, Saturday September 23
The women’s race is 152.8km long, with the riders completing eight laps of the circuit used by the men. The pre-amble to the start of the circuit is dropped, creating fast paced laps from the line.
Junior women and men under 23 will also forgo the opening 40 km, with the young women completing four laps and the men under 23 covering 10. Both of those races will take place on Friday, September 22.
Recent women’s world champions
2016: Amalie Dideriksen (Denmark)
2015 Lizzie Deignan (Great Britain)
2014 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (France)
2013 Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
2012 Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
2011 Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
2010 Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
2009 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy)
2008 Nicole Cooke (Great Britain)
2007 Maria Bastianelli (Italy)
2006 Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
Team Time Trial, Sunday September 17
The team time trials take place early on in the proceedings, the day after the opening ceremony.
Unlike the individual time trial and road races, men and women cover the same course. The route is 42.5km long and starts in Askøy archipelago, just outside Bergen.
The opening kilometres will be fairly flat, before winding out to the centre of Kleppestø and over the Askøy Bridge. Once over the bridge, there’s a 4km stretch that becomes much more technical, and then a 600 m climb with an average gradient of 10 per cent at Loddefjord.
Next, the route becomes flat again for around 10km, before ramping up for 3km in a climb to Birkelundsbakken – this averages at six per cent but pitches up to 16 per cent.
There’s a short cobbled section near Bryggen, then the route loops into the town and finishes on some more technical roads around the harbour.
Individual Time Trial Course, Monday September 18 to Wednesday September 20
Routes for the Individual time trial vary depending upon rider category – but all courses will start near Grieghallen, finishing at Festplassen.
- Women’s Junior Individual Time Trial: Monday September 18, 1 short lap, 16.1km
- Men’s Under 23 Individual Time Trial: Monday September 18, 1 long lap + 1 short lap, 37.2km
- Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial: Tuesday September 19, 1 long lap, 21.1km
- Women Elite Individual Time Trial: Tuesday September 19, 1 long lap, 21.1km
- Men’s Elite Time Trial: Wednesday September 20, 2 laps plus Mount Floyen finish, 31km
The elite men face two laps, with an additional ascent of Mount Floyen – which is 3.4km long and has an average gradient of 9.1 per cent which peaks of 10.2 per cent. Their total distance is 31km, with some lumps along the way before the key climb.
The elite women, junior men and men under 23 use the same loop, minus Mount Floyen. They will still ascend the 1.4km Birkelundsbakken climb, which averages at 7.2 per cent and peaks at 9.1 per cent. The junior women bypass this climb, only using the short loop.