Richmond Worlds Overview: International Cycling Comes to RVA

Richmond Worlds Overview

The UCI Road World Championships are in full swing and will continue through this Sunday. We told you a bit about the traffic situation and how Richmond is celebrating Worlds last week. We also gave you a quick review of bike safety. Now let’s take a moment to talk about the event itself. What exactly is the UCI Road World Championships? How did they end up in Richmond? And why should you get excited about it? Find out with our Richmond Worlds overview.

What Is It?

The UCI Road World Championships is the highest level of competition for international road cyclists. It is a nine-day event that consists of 12 races. Each race during the championships decides the new world champion for that event. It is one of three races that make up the Triple Crown of cycling. The other two are the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.

Cyclists in each category compete for their countries, much like the Olympic games. The events are as follows:

  • Women’s Team Time Trial
  • Men’s Team Time Trial
  • Women’s Junior Time Trial
  • Men’s Junior Time Trial
  • Men’s Under 23 Time Trial
  • Women’s Elite Time Trial
  • Men’s Elite Time Trial
  • Women’s Junior Road Circuit
  • Men’s Junior Road Circuit
  • Men’s Under 23 Road Circuit
  • Women’s Elite Road Circuit
  • Men’s Elite Road Circuit

Why Is It In Richmond?

The championships are held in a different international city each year. The location is chosen by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in a competitive bidding process similar to the Olympic games. Some past host cities include:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Verona, Italy
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • Limburg, Netherlands

As is typical of these types of events, bidding begins years in advance. This process allows the successful city enough time to prepare the facilities and infrastructure necessary for such a large event, as well as to make and execute plans to ensure that the races run as smoothly as possible.

Richmond began the bidding process for the Worlds in 2010. A small committee reached out to city government and the local business community for support of the project, which gradually gained momentum. Richmond has successfully hosted large cycling events in the past, and city officials hope that the Worlds will set the stage for other large events and increased tourism. Richmond’s bid was accepted in December of 2010.

Get Excited!

The UCI Road World Championships bring around a thousand internationally ranked cyclists to Richmond. Whether you want to brave the crowds to watch in person or check out the action from the convenience of your computer or TV, it’s definitely worth checking out the races. It’s not every day we get the world championships of anything right here in our own back yard. You can watch a live feed of the races on the official event website. There’s also a mobile app where can also stream live footage as well as get schedule and course information, and more. If you want to experience the excitement in person, check out the navigation page for all the info you need on the best vantage points, how to get there, and where to park.

Don’t forget to like and share, and happy cycling!

Photos: Eli Christman
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