‘Bigger than the Rugby World Cup’: Scotland ready for Cycling Worlds

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Riders compete in the men’s road race at the World Road Cycling Championships in Wollongong on Sunday. Next year will be part of a massive combined event in Glasgow

WEST WILLIAM

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Scotland’s cycling chiefs said on Sunday that preparing to host the biggest-ever world championships in Glasgow next year was a “frightening” prospect, but a huge opportunity for the country.

Cycling’s governing body, the UCI, experimented with merging world championships from different disciplines into one giant event in the pre-Olympic years. They will remain separate the other years.

The first such combined event, in Glasgow in 2023, will include road, track, BMX, trials, mountain biking, para-cycling and indoor cycling, which includes artistic cycling and cycle-ball.

Over 11 days, multiple events will be contested in 13 disciplines, which will increase to 19 in France in 2027.

“It’s exciting but scary. It’s a huge opportunity for the sport, a fantastic opportunity for Scotland,” Glasgow Championship chairman Paul Bush told AFP.

“It’s going to be our biggest sporting event in history, which most people don’t quite understand yet.

“Cycling in Scotland is important, mountain biking is now more important than golf as a tourist value.

“It’s bigger than the Rugby World Cup, bigger than the Commonwealth Games.”

The road world championships, currently taking place in Wollongong, Australia, usually conclude with the men’s elite road race. But for the first time in Glasgow, the women will close the event.

“We will have over 8,000 athletes, both elite and amateur, we need 4,000 volunteers…so size and scale is really important,” said 2023 event general manager Trudy. Lindblade.

“It’s scary but it’s such an opportunity for the UCI, cycling as a sport and also the destination.”

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