At a world championship, the great figurehead of cycling on the road must of course not be missing. The athletes will fight for medals on the streets of Scotland over eight days of racing in road races, individual time trials and the mixed team time trial. The course of the men's and women's race offers especially the spectators at the side of the track in Glasgow the possibility to see the field of riders several times on the numerous final laps at the finish. Due to the hilly profile, many attacks can be expected in a varied race course. At the start of both men's and women's races are expected to be big stars of the scene such as Mathieu van der Poel, Remco Evenepoel or Demi Vollering. In addition to the elite women's and men's races, there will also be competitions for juniors, U23s and para-cycling. The U23 women start within the elite race with their own classification.
The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow is also a hot spot on the track. The para competitions will open on August 2, and from August 3 to 9, the rest of the world's top athletes will compete in joint sessions with the para athletes in the fight for the rainbow jersey for the world championship title. In different disciplines there will be many different types of riders to watch, from fast sprinters to endurance athletes in the omnium and disciplines like the team sprint and the team pursuit. Among the starters will be some well-known names from road cycling, such as the two-time time trial world champion and current hour world record holder Filippo Ganna.
Over the Olympic distance, the short distance, an eBike race up to a mixed relay and the marathon distance, there will also be exciting competitions for the mountain bike elite through the forests of Tweed Valley. South of the main venue Glasgow, the masters of stones and roots can prove themselves. In addition to the elite races, there will also be competitions for the junior and U23 categories. Among those expected at the start line will be Olympic mountain bike champion Thomas Pidcock of Team Ineos-Grenadiers, a very versatile rider who has already become cyclocross world champion and Tour de France stage winner in the prestigious Alpe d'Huez at the age of just 23. He could have company from Mathieu van der Poel, who, like the Briton, has been successful as a multi-talent on a wide variety of terrain and is one of the top favorites for the title not only in road racing but also on the mountain bike. In the women's race, Frenchwoman Pauline Ferrand-Prévot is aiming to claim her ninth world title in the elite category, the previous eight having been won in no fewer than four different cycling disciplines (road, cross, gravel, mountain bike).
Friends of risk and adrenaline will get their money's worth at the downhill races, among others. From August 3 to 5, Fort William will host the competitions of the junior and elite classes, and spectacular scenes are guaranteed on the daredevil descents. In the battle against the clock, over hill and dale, exciting competitions are guaranteed. In the men's elite, Loïc Bruni is aiming for his sixth world championship title; among other things, the 28-year-old decided the last two world championships in his favor.
For a taste of what to expect in the men's competition, check out the highlights of the 2022 World Championships:
The BMX Racing competitions will be even shorter and more condensed for the spectators. At the BMX Centre in Glasgow, the elite will be competing for precious metal on August 12 and 13. Over three rounds spread over two days of competition, the best eight women and men will qualify for the final races for the medals. After 400 meters and 30 to 40 seconds per run on a technically demanding course of speed bumps and steep turns, the new title holders will already be determined. The direct battle of man-against-man and woman-against-woman as well as the shortness of the format ensure exciting races.
The women's World Cup final race last year:
BMX Freestyle is not as fast-paced, but no less challenging. In the freestyle park, there are two scoring runs of 60 seconds each, and the winner is decided by a jury, which can award up to 100 points per run. In addition to the execution of the tricks, the hang time (duration of flight in the air) and use of the course are also important. Flatland is a two- to three-minute round of artistic tricks on a BMX bike without any obstacles. Impressive tricks and a great atmosphere are offered during the competitions in Glasgow Green. The basic tricks include, for example, the tail-whip (swing of the frame) or a bar-spin (rotation of the handlebars), but the combination of tricks makes the difference.
The two tricks mentioned can be seen, among others, in this video of runner-up Lara Lessmann in the freestyle park from 2017:
The trials are also tricky, with two categories of tire sizes (20 and 26 inches) looking for the best bikers on a challenging course. Over a course peppered with obstacles such as rock formations or other difficulties, special skill on the handlebars and a strong sense of balance are required. The winner is determined by points, which can be collected by cleanly crossing the individual sectors in two minutes each. In the men's 26-inch category, Jack Carthy will compete on home soil as the defending champion in the battle for the rainbow jersey. The competitions will be held from August 9 to 12. In the women's race, medals will be awarded in just one category.
The highlights of last year's World Cup final in the men's 26-inch category:
One ball and two goals sounds like a promising concept. In bicycle polo, this will also be implemented at the UCI Cycling World Championships. From the group stage to the final, two teams of two face each other for seven minutes per half. The ball is controlled with the front wheel, and the goalkeeper is also allowed to defend with his hands. Here, too, body control is the be-all and end-all. If a player puts a foot on the ground, the player must first leave the playing field before being allowed to re-enter the game.
The highlights of the 2021 World Cup final between Germany and Austria provide a foretaste:
As the second part of the other World Indoor Championships, the artistic cycling competitions will also be held in the Emirates Arena. In singles, teams of two or four, the athletes will try to convince the jury of their merits during the five-minute performances. In harmony with the selected music, gymnastic elements such as a handstand on the wheels are presented. In addition to the execution, the jury also evaluates the difficulty and variance of the elements. In the men's individual, Germany's Lukas Kohl is fighting for his seventh world title in a row; the 27-year-old has been undefeated at the title competitions since 2016.
Author: Brian Börsig