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Glasgow City Council

2023 UCI Cycling Worlds Set for Stunning Road Races Amid Scotland's Most Iconic Landmarks

published 23 September 2022

•    Men and Women road races to pass through the country's most spectacular monuments from Edinburgh Castle, the Kelpies and the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond   
•    Women's road race will bring the curtain down on historic mega-event held in Glasgow and across Scotland next year   
•    Junior road races to take place entirely in Glasgow

The world's best cyclists will savour some of Scotland's most spectacular scenery next year with the men's and women's road races taking in Edinburgh Castle and Arthur's Seat in the capital, the Wallace Monument and The Kelpies, and the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond en route to the finish line at Glasgow's George Square. 

For the first time ever, this unique Cycling Worlds - bringing together 13 existing UCI World Championships into a new mega event held in Glasgow and across Scotland - will also close with the Women Elite road race on Sunday 13 August 2023.
Edinburgh and Loch Lomond were today (Friday 23 September) unveiled as official venues and starting locations for the Elite and Under 23 categories of the road races at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. The announcement was made at the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia. 

On arrival into Glasgow, the cyclists will tackle a 14.4 km technical city circuit with punchy short climbs (a total of 193 metres of climbing per lap) and an iconic finish at George Square. The Men Elite will cover a distance of 277 km with 3,167 metres of climbing, while the Women Elite (which includes the Women under 23 category) will race 157 km with 1,930 metres of climbing.
The Men Elite road race will be held on Sunday 6 August 2023 starting at the awe inspiring dormant volcano, Arthur's Seat, and then progress through Edinburgh's Old Town, passing close Edinburgh Castle before crossing the Firth of Forth and taking in the breathtaking coastline of Fife. 

Riders, spectators and the global TV audience will next take in views including the stunning sculpture of The Kelpies and then the National Wallace Monument before proceeding down the popular cycling route of the Crow Road on the way to the thrilling, technical circuit in Glasgow, where they will finally cross the finish line alongside George Square in the heart of the city.

The Women Elite and Women Under 23 as well as the Men Under 23 road races will see the starting line placed along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, with the peloton leaving the gateway to the Trossachs National Park and heading towards Fintry. Riders will then climb as they pass through Stirlingshire and then onto East Dunbartonshire, following the route as they head into the final 62 km stretch to the Glasgow circuit. 

Entering from Glasgow's west end, the road race route navigates the city starting with a climb to Park Circus and panoramic views across Kelvingrove Park before heading in to the city centre, passing the internationally recognised Glasgow School of Art, University of Strathclyde, the historic Glasgow Cathedral and stylish Merchant City.
The circuit then takes riders back west, passing the Gallery of Modern Art and traversing Buchanan Street, the city's premier shopping street, before taking in the iconic Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery and the world-renowned University of Glasgow, both striking architectural landmarks in Glasgow's west end.

The riders will then go along the eclectic Byres Road before racing back to conclude with an exciting finishing straight at George Square. 

As per the competition schedule announced on 8 September, the road race for the Men Under 23 will take place on Saturday 12 August 2023 with the Women Elite road race, which includes the Women Under 23 category, closing this inaugural and history making competition on Sunday 13 August 2023. 

The Junior Road races take place on the Glasgow Circuit on Saturday 5 August. The Junior Men will complete 9 laps (129km) and the Junior Women 5 laps (72km).

The Team Time Trial Mixed Relay will take place on Tuesday 8 August the Glasgow Circuit but with an extension around Glasgow Green which has been used previously for road races such as the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow. A lap distance of 20.7km

Stirlingshire, steeped in history will host the Individual Time Trials from 9 to11 August, which will take place on a typically British time trail course.  All categories will ride one lap. Race distances: Men Elite - 48.2km. Women Elite - 36.2km. Junior Men - 23km. Junior Women - 21.2km.  

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Local Organising Committee is working in partnership with all local authorities keep people informed so that business and residents can support the event by showcasing Scotland to the world. 

There are volunteering opportunities at all venues, including the newly announced venues of Edinburgh and Loch Lomond. For more information, visit 

UCI President David Lappartient said: "With less than a year to go until the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, it is fantastic to be able to visualise the road races for the Elite and Under 23 categories. The spectacular and challenging routes will guarantee the show that the organisers had promised us. The athletes now have a clear vision of what awaits them in the battle for the rainbow jersey next year." 

Paul Bush, Chair of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, said: "The announcement of Edinburgh and Loch Lomond as starting venues for the inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, further demonstrate this is truly a pan-Scotland event for everyone to come along and enjoy. 

"Glasgow and Scotland are global leaders in the delivery of innovative and world-class major events. Set against the backdrop of some of the country's most iconic and spectacular cities and locations, these historic Championships are sure to capture the imagination of athletes, spectators and audiences around the world and showcase why we are the perfect stage for events."

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: "The announcement of the route for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Road Races is great news, bringing to life the Scotland-wide nature of the event and the many iconic landmarks and incredible scenery that the athletes will experience. "I hope that this announcement also continues to build excitement following the recent schedule launch and enables spectators, including those coming to Scotland, to make plans for what will be the biggest cycling event ever held."

Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken, said: "The road race events at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will be a real highlight of our sporting calendar with stars from across the continent competing. The great road races of France, Spain and Italy all showcase their cities and countryside to massive audiences, and I am sure these events will do the same for Glasgow and our neighbours.  Including these events as part of the competition schedule gives sports fans a fantastic opportunity to see elite riders race past their doorsteps, this summer - for free."

Scottish athlete Neah Evans who became the first Scottish woman to win three medals at the same Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer, including silver in the road race said: "When I started cycling, I trained on the roads around Balloch. I'm so excited for the best riders in the world to compete in some of the most scenic surroundings of Scotland as part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. It will be an honour for the Women Elite road race to draw the largest cycling event in history to a close."

More Information

From 3-13 August 2023, the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships will be hosted in Glasgow and across Scotland. It will be the single biggest cycling event in history, bringing together for the first time 13 existing UCI World Championships into one mega event. 

This historic and innovative event will welcome more than 8,000 amateur and elite cyclists from more than 120 countries and crown over 190 UCI World Champions across 13 UCI World Championships, which includes: BMX Freestyle Flatland; BMX Freestyle Park; BMX Racing; Gran Fondo; Indoor Cycling; Mountain Bike Cross-country; Mountain Bike Downhill; Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon; Para-cycling Road; Para-cycling Track; Road; Track; Trials. 

The anticipated global TV audience will place the event in the top-10 most watched sporting events in the world, rivalling the Olympics and Commonwealth Games and placing Scotland on the world stage as a destination for elite cycling and cycle tourism.  

Currently the UCI stages annual UCI World Championships in each of its disciplines in different host cities around the world throughout the year. Starting with the inaugural event in 2023, the UCI Cycling Worlds will bring these championships together every four years, the year prior to the Olympics.

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships is more than just an event. It will be a catalyst for behavioural change across Scotland by giving everyone the opportunity to experience the freedom riding a bike can bring to their lives. By working in collaboration with cycling and wider partners, it will amplify and unify existing work and activity across health, transport, tourism and participation. 

The event will be delivered in collaboration between the UCI, Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, UK Sport, British Cycling, Glasgow Life and VisitScotland with its EventScotland team through 2023 Cycling World Championships Ltd, with the partnership creating a blueprint for future editions by ensuring the inaugural event is authentic, innovative, and distinctive.

Venues and Locations already announced include: 
•    BMX Freestyle Park (Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow) 
•    BMX Freestyle Flatland (Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow) 
•    BMX Racing (Glasgow BMX Centre, Glasgow)
•    Gran Fondo (TBC) 
•    Indoor (Emirates Arena, Glasgow) 
•    Mountain Bike Cross Country (Glentress) 
•    Mountain Bike Downhill (Fort William) 
•    Mountain Bike Marathon (Glentress) 
•    Para-cycling Road (Dumfries & Galloway)  
•    Para-cycling Track (Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow) 
•    Road (Edinburg, Loch Lomond, Road Race Finish: George Square, Glasgow, Time Trial: Stirling) 
•    Track (Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow) 
•    Trials (Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow) 



published 23 September 2022

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