2018 UCI Road World Championships – Everything you need to know!
What’s your opinion? who’s going to win?
You probably have an opinion about the new world champion yourself.
Leave your name in the comments below, predicting who you think will win on Sunday.
The 2018 UCI Road World Championships are taking place this week – from September 23 to 30 – in Innsbruck, Austria. This is Austria’s third time hosting the road cycling world championships.
From the moment you fly or drive into Innsbruck, mountains dominate the view. Mighty and majestic, they will undoubtedly make for a magnificent backdrop this week when more than a thousand elite cyclists will compete for medals and rainbow stripes in Tyrol at the 2018 UCI Road World Championships.
LET’S GO RIDE
We set out to ride one lap of the Olympic circuit that the riders will face seven times on Sunday, adding in the extremely steep and narrow Höttinger Höll, dubbed “Highway to Höll,” 11 kilometers from the finish.
ELITE MEN’S ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP COURSE
The elite men’s road race looks set to be one of the toughest in history, with 4,670 meters of elevation gain over a distance of 258.5 kilometers. So it makes sense that the best climbers in the world will line up.
The hilly Innsbruck course is characterized by three sections: following the start in the town of Endach in Kufstein, the riders will race on flat to rolling roads through the valley to Innsbruck. Following the first passage across the line in Innsbruck, they’ll ride six laps of the 23.9-kilometer Olympic circuit, which has a 7.9-kilometer climb with an average gradient of 5.7 percent, and the steepest ramp to Igls at 10 percent. The Igls climb is a perfect place to do some damage and hurt the puncheurs – maybe not on the first haul up, but the climb will get tougher and tougher as the race unfolds.
The race ends with an extremely hard finishing circuit – it’s the same as the previous six laps, but this time with the addition of 7.1 kilometers extra, including the punishing climb to Gramartboden, Höttinger Höll, a 2.8-kilometer slog with an average gradient of 11.5 percent and ramps of up to 28 percent – ouch! The toughest kilometer is halfway up the hill.
From the top, it’s 8 kilometers to the finish line: 6 kilometers of descent and 2 kilometers on the flat toward the center of Innsbruck, where the race will conclude.
RIDERS TO WATCH
It will be a versatile rider who will win the road race; obviously, climbing legs and good descending skills are essential.Taking a look at the list of names, some stellar contenders spring out, like Castelli-equipped Gianni Moscon, Vincenzo Nibali, Michal Kwiatkowski, Julian Alaphilippe, Primoz Roglic, Thibaut Pinot, Alejandro Valverde and the Yates brothers.
WHAT ABOUT SAGAN?
Pure climber teams will have to make the race as hard as they possibly can to eliminate the likes of Peter Sagan, Tom Dumoulin and Tony Gallopin. Sagan became the first man in history to win three men’s road race titles in a row at the UCI Road World Championships. Obviously, a fourth consecutive title would be even more stunning. He’s a brilliant puncheur and descender, and one of the fastest finishers in the peloton. Sagan himself refused to rule out the possibility of extending his record-breaking run of world titles.
WHAT’S YOUR OPINION? WHO’S GOING TO WIN?
WIN A TEAM ITALIA JERSEY
You probably have an opinion about the new world champion yourself. Leave your name in the comments below, predicting who you think will win on Sunday. We’ll draw one winner of a Team Italia jersey from the comments next week.
THE CASTELLI-EQUIPPED ITALIAN TEAM
Alessandro De Marchi