Posted by Editoress on 09/2/20
The UCI has finally announced the new location for the Road World Championships, which will now take place in Italy on September 24-27, hosted by the city of Imola and the surrounding Emilia-Romagna region. Imola is less than 30 minutes from Bologna and less than an hour from Florence, which hosted the Worlds in 2013. Imola previously hosted the Road Worlds in 1968.
Originally scheduled for Aigle, Switzerland over September 20-27, the Swiss organizers cancelled in mid-August due to the coronavirus pandemic and public health restrictions. The Road Worlds are a major source of revenue for the UCI, and the organization has been looking for an alternate host. In addition to Imola, bids were submitted by Peccioli (Italy), Alba Adriatica (Italy) and the Haute-Saône region (France).
These Worlds will be reduced to just the Elite women and men - no Under-23 or Junior categories. Time trials will will take place on the first two days - women on Thursday, September 24th and men Friday, September 25th - with the road races the following two days (again women, on Saturday, followed by men on Sunday).
Note: Cycling Canada had previously stated that they would only consider naming elite men and women to any Worlds squad, from athletes who were already in Europe. A list of riders has not yet been announced. Kris Westwood, Head of Performance Operations, said to us in an email this morning, "We're just going through the final steps of the selection approval process so we will be able to announce the selection by Friday at the latest."
Although the start and finish of all the events will take place on the Imola automobile racing circuit, the routes proposed by the organising committee stand out due to their extremely challenging character: the men's road race will be 259.2 kilometres, with a total of nearly 5000 metres of climbing, while the length of the women's race will be 144 kilometres, with 2750 metres of climbing.
The circuit (28.8 kilometres) will be the same for the men (9 laps) and women (5 laps) and will include two difficult climbs (3 kilometres in total with an average gradient of 10% and sections reaching 14%). These characteristics will offer the riders a profile comparable to that of Aigle-Martigny (Switzerland), which will suit the punchers and climbers and should produce exciting and lively races.
The time trial circuit (to be covered once by both men and women), fairly flat, will measure 32 kilometres with 200 metres altitude difference, suiting the strongest specialists of the race against the clock.
UCI President David Lappartient declared: "I congratulate the Imola organising committee for the excellent quality of its bidding file which it succeeded in producing in a short lapse of time. I would also like to thank the three other candidates Peccioli (Italy), Alba Adriatica (Italy) and the Haute-Saône (France) who also sent solid files to the UCI. It was not an easy choice, but it goes to show that even in this difficult period that we are going through, the UCI World Championships are still very attractive for cities and their regions.
"Although the award of the 2020 UCI Road World Championships to Imola is excellent news, my thoughts also go to the Aigle-Martigny organising committee whom I sincerely thank for its commitment and the quality of our collaboration over the last two years.
"The award of the UCI Road World Championships in Italy this year is of great symbolic value for the UCI: in a country that suffered enormously from the Covid-19 pandemic but was able to confront it effectively and with courage, the staging of our leading annual event will, in its own way, be a sign of a return to normal in a region where the health situation is now under control.
"I am convinced that the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Imola will allow us all, despite the difficult current situation, to witness a great sporting festival. I invite you all to follow this event in Italy, true cycling territory, on one of the most challenging circuits in the history of the UCI Road World Championships. I look forward to watching these races which promise to be magnificent."
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