Challenging courses unveiled for 2018 UCI Road World Championships
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the Organising Committee of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck-Tirol (Austria), are delighted to reveal the various courses agreed for the event that will take place from September 22 to 30.
All 12 races will set off from one of four start locations in the Austrian Tirol – Ötztal / AREA 47, Hall-Wattens, Rattenberg / Alpbachtal Seenland and Kufstein – and finish in the regional capital, Innsbruck.
Both the Men’s and Women’s UCI Team time trials will start next to the AREA 47 outdoor adventure centre at the entrance to the Ötztal Valley. Taking place on September 23, the two races (53.8km for women and 62.1km for men) will mark the start of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships. The first 40km of both courses are identical, taking riders via Haiming, Telfs and Zirl to the village of Kematen to the west of Innsbruck. While the Elite Men will turn off into the Mittelgebirge (relatively low mountain range) – passing the villages of Axams and Götzens with their impressive panoramic views and steep ramps of up to 10% – before descending back down to Völs, the Elite Women will head from Kematen straight to Völs and on to Innsbruck.
The individual time trials for Junior Men, Junior Women, Under 23 Men and Elite Women will start 20km east of Innsbruck in the Hall-Wattens region. After an initial climb from Hall to Absam, the courses will take in five charming settlements in the northern Mittelgebirge known as the MARTHA villages (Mühlau, Arzl, Rum, Thaur, Absam) before heading to the finish in Innsbruck. The route for the Juniors will comprise 20.2km and 192 vertical metres of climbing, while the Under 23 Men and the Elite Women will tackle 28.5km and 262 vertical metres.
Georg Spazier, Head of the Organising Committee, said: “The challenging climbs and technical sections offered by in Innsbruck-Tirol combined with the traditional UCI Road World Championships distance promise to be a huge challenge for the riders. Only the most complete ones will have a chance on such a demanding terrain.”
Rattenberg, officially the smallest town in Austria, will host the start of the Elite Men individual time trial and the Junior Women road race. Before reaching the finish, the Junior Women will complete what is known as the Olympic Circuit: a 24km lap, including 460 metres of climbing, that passes through the villages of Aldrans, Lans and Igls before crossing the finish line in front of the theatre in Innsbruck. On their way from Rattenberg to Innsbruck, the Elite Men time trial will lead riders up a demanding 4.4km climb between the villages of Fritzens and Gnadenwald, ascending more than 330 vertical metres and featuring a maximum gradient of 14%.
The course for the Elite Men road race certainly lives up to the 2018 UCI Road World Championships motto “Riding the Heart of the Alps”: 265km with nearly 5,000 metres of climbing give an indication of just how tough and spectacular this event is set to be. Like the Junior Men road race, the Under 23 Men road race and the Elite Women road race, it will start in the town of Kufstein to the east of Innsbruck and include the Olympic Circuit to the south. This circuit is covered in all the road races between one and seven times depending on the category. The Men Elite, will tackle the Olympic Circuit seven times before heading through the city and up to the Hungerburg settlement in the north of the regional capital for a final decisive climb with sections of up to 25%. As with all other races at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships, the Men Elite Road Race will finish in the centre of Innsbruck between the theatre building and the Imperial Palace.
UCI President Brian Cookson said: “After Villach in 1987 and Salzburg in 2006, it is a real pleasure to return to Austria with our leading road cycling event of the year. The Organising Committee for the 2018 UCI Road World Championships has pulled out all the stops to design magnificent and challenging courses. I have no doubt that these race courses will get the approval of both the riders and cycling fans worldwide.”