Road

Want to watch the world’s best cyclists take on Scotland’s roads? Here’s everything you need to know about Road Racing.

Dates: 05 - 06, 08 - 13 August 2023

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Italy's Elisa Balsamo crosses the line in 2021 to become UCI World Champion

Overview

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.

The overview map detaling the routes going from Edinburgh to Glasgow and Loch Lomond to glasgow
The routes for the road races and time trials at the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds

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

2021 Season

Elisa Balsamo
ITA

Elisa Balsamo

Women Elite - Road Race

Ellen van Dijk
NED

Ellen van Dijk

Women Elite - Individual Time Trial

Zoe Bäckstedt
GBR

Zoe Bäckstedt

Women Junior - Road Race

Alena Ivanchenko
RUS

Alena Ivanchenko

Women Junior - Individual Time Trial

Team Germany
GER

Team Germany

Team Time Trial - Mixed Relay

Julian Alaphilippe
FRA

Julian Alaphilippe

Men Elite - Road Race

Filippo Ganna
ITA

Filippo Ganna

Men Elite - Individual Time Trial

Filippo Baroncini
ITA

Filippo Baroncini

Men U23 - Road Race

Johan Price-Pejtersen
DEN

Johan Price-Pejtersen

Men U23 - Individual Time Trial

Per Strand Hagenes
NOR

Per Strand Hagenes

Men Junior - Road Race

Gustav Wang
DEN

Gustav Wang

Men Junior - Individual Time Trial

Elisa Balsamo graphic, the rider is wrapped in a blue brushstroke

Fun Facts!

  • 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.