Road World Championships 2022 route announced: Australia races to suit puncheurs

The local loop takes in a brutally steep climb every lap to whittle down the field

The UCI Road World Championships in Flanders 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The routes for the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia, have been revealed with the puncheurs being catered for yet again.

Sub-tropical rainforests, towering sea cliffs and a beach side finish are just three things to look forward to in the elite road races. 

The men's elite race starts in Helensburgh before taking a 32km ride to the centre of Wollongong skirting the edge of the Dhrawal National Park before taking on half of the finishing circuit and then a climb up Mount Keira before joining the finishing circuit fully.

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The women's elite road race is different in the sense that it doesn't start outside of Wollongong, in fact, it starts at the finish line with the Mount Keira circuit taken on straight away before laps of the finishing circuit which has a short punchy climb peaking at 14 per cent gradient.

But the time trials will be a bit different to previous editions with the men's and women's elite courses being exactly the same, with riders circling the centre of the city on a very slightly different circuit to the road races.

The under 23s, juniors and the mixed relay will be on the smallest circuit in the city centre.

Cycling Road World Championships 2022 Wollongong road race route

(Image credit: Wollongong 2022)

Chair of Wollongong 2022, Dean Dalla Vale said: "Wollongong is a city that is rich in diverse, natural assets including a coastline that encompasses remarkable cliffs, crystal clear water and golden sandy beaches which contrasts with the abundant escarpment.

“These features will shine on the broadcast and be an appealing drawcard for spectators, the UCI and the athletes who have not competed in Australia for several years.

“We are so excited to unveil the courses and competition schedule, building momentum toward this marvellous event and giving everyone a taste of what’s to come next September.”

President of the UCI, David Lappartient, added that the events were made with spectators in mind in a beautiful part of the world.

"The courses are exciting and challenging, and will provide ample opportunity for fans to immerse themselves in the event and see the world’s best cyclists in action," Lappartient said.

"The UCI is pleased to have been working closely with the local organising committee over the past 12 months to create courses that are complex, technical and will separate the true champions from their peers.

"Although the global pandemic has limited our ability to visit Wollongong to date, the UCI looks forward to visiting in the first quarter of 2022 to see first-hand the extensive planning by the organising committee and confirm all race details, which will then be released to the international cycling community."

The races will take place between Sunday, September 18 kicking off with the women's and men's elite time trials with the programme finishing on Sunday, September 25 with the men's elite road race.

Wollongong is 11 hours ahead of the UK so this will be a long night for anyone wanting to watch in Europe. 11am in the UK is 10pm there.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.