The UCI has announced that Glasgow and Scotland have been awarded the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships, which will take place over two weeks in August 2023.
The event will bring together 12 UCI World Championships for different cycling disciplines in one unprecedented event that will see thousands of cyclists vying to win the prestigious rainbow jersey.
Glasgow and Scotland have considerable experience organising international cycling events, including annual rounds of the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and the 2007 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships in Fort William, and the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup and the cycling competitions of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “This is a huge announcement and achievement for the city. Being the first ever hosts of this event – which will become the pinnacle of the UCI International Calendar – will cement Glasgow and Scotland’s position as a worldwide leader and innovator in the planning and delivery of major sporting events.
“Our city is one of the top five sporting cities in the world, and events like the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will help us continue to climb these rankings and realise our big aspirations. This event will be the biggest event staged in the city, and indeed the country, in the coming years – and we cannot wait to welcome athletes, officials, and spectators from around the world to Glasgow.”
The announcement follows months of collaboration between the UCI, EventScotland, Glasgow Life, UK Sport and British Cycling.
Glasgow’s existing cycling infrastructure, such as the Sir Chris Hoy Veldorome and Glasgow BMX Centre, means that the city will be able to host the championships without having to build new venues.
From 2023, the UCI Cycling World Championships will be held every four years, in each pre-Summer Olympic year. Over several weeks, images broadcast worldwide will showcase the region to all corners of the globe, while the tens of thousands of visitors will boost tourism.
UCI President, David Lappartient, said: “I am delighted that the UCI has awarded the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships to Glasgow and Scotland. The creation and the implementation of this event was one of the commitments I had made during my campaign for UCI presidency and I am proud to have fulfilled it.
“I wish to thank Event Scotland, Glasgow Life, UK Sport and British Cycling for their enthusiastic involvement in the very first edition of this historic event, which will uniquely showcase our sport and its different disciplines on an international stage. Glasgow and Scotland have a great deal of experience in the organisation of major sporting events, notably multi-sports, such as the first edition of the European Sports Championships that it organised in 2018. I am convinced that the UCI Cycling World Championships will be a great success, and I look forward enormously to preparing them with our Scottish partners.
“The award of an event such as this represents a wonderful opportunity to encourage cycling as a form of daily mobility, ensuring a sustainable future for both urban and rural areas and their populations. Glasgow and Scotland share this vision and will leverage these Championships to encourage this on their territory.”
Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, added: “As the first ever host of this event, Scotland will cement its position as a leader and innovator in the planning and delivery of major sporting events. It builds upon the successes of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2014 Ryder Cup and last year’s European Championships.
“Our overall aim is for Scotland to become one of Europe’s top cycling nations with cycling firmly embedded across Scotland as the favoured way to travel to school and work, as an enjoyable leisure activity and an efficient way to improve health.”
In November, the first UCI Bike City Forum, in Milan, brought together cycling leaders, advocates and experts to discuss and debate the future of active mobility.