The rules of the road are simple: fastest wins.
But a rainbow jersey winning time comes down to more than just raw RPM. Pace setting, strategically timed attacks and gutsy breakaways will separate the race leaders from the pack on the high-speed hills, thrills and spills of Scotland’s most challenging roads.
How it works
The Individual Road Race pits riders against each other in an all-out battle for supremacy of Scotland’s (usually very peaceful!) roads.
Even though there’s plenty of riders to form the peloton - where you’ll see riders “drafting”, which means following the lead rider for an aerodynamic advantage - there are few places where cyclists feel more alone. Mental toughness is mandatory and any mistake will be immediately punished. It’s every rider for him or herself and there’s only one rainbow jersey up for grabs.
In Individual Time Trials, riders set off one-by-one at regular intervals of 1-2 minutes. There’s nowhere to hide and no slipstreams to conserve energy in. Just the clock.
Aerodynamics are everything, so you’ll see futuristic bikes, helmets and skinsuits. With sheer speed being top priority, riders have to push the limit of safe racing lines as the twists, turns and tight corners could end a potentially medal winning run at any moment.
The Mixed Team Relay sees squads of six - three women and three men - race a road circuit in turn. The men go first and race their lap as quickly as they can. The women can only go when the second man reaches them. The women push the pace and when the second woman crosses the finish line, the team has their time.
A single rider per team can drop out of each stage, so teams use this strategically by letting one rider lead the way to keep legs fresh for as long as they can. Communication, coordination and understanding of individual strengths will be key.
Multiple venues across Scotland
Glasgow (Road Races - All Finishes)
Edinburgh (Men Elite - Start)
Stirling (Individual Time Trials)
Loch Lomond (Women Elite & Men Under 23 - Start)
Find out more about each of the regions in the Visit section.
Current UCI World Champions
Ellen van Dijk
Per Strand Hagenes
- Road racing is arguably the most iconic cycle sport there is. Tens of millions of spectators turn up to events and even more around the world watch on TV and online.
- The first officially recorded road race dates back to 1868 and was won by a British rider, James Moore.
- Road racing has featured at every Olympic Games since its first edition in 1896.
- The Mixed Team Relay is a relatively new event, debuting at the 2019 World Championships.