2023 UCI Cycling Worlds set for stunning road races amid Scotland's most iconic landmarks
Road races to pass through the country’s most spectacular monuments from Edinburgh Castle, the Kelpies and the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.
Road Routes Announced
The world’s best cyclists will savour some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery next year with the men’s and women’s road races taking in Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat in the capital, the Wallace Monument and The Kelpies, and the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond en route to the finish line at Glasgow’s George Square.
Routes for the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships and UCI Gran Fondo World Championships will be announced in due course.
For the first time ever, this unique UCI Cycling Worlds – bringing together 13 existing UCI World Championships into a new mega event held in Glasgow and across Scotland – will close with the Women Elite road race on Sunday 13 August 2023.
Loch Lomond and Edinburgh unveiled
Edinburgh and Loch Lomond were today (Friday 23 September) unveiled as official venues and starting locations for the Elite and Under 23 categories of the road races at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. The announcement was made at the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia.
On arrival into Glasgow, the cyclists will tackle a 14.4 km technical city circuit with punchy short climbs (a total of 193 metres of climbing per lap) and an iconic finish at George Square.
In total, the Men Elite will cover a distance of 277 km with 3,167 metres of climbing, while the Women Elite (which includes the Women Under 23 category) will race 157 km with 1,930 metres of climbing. The Men Under 23 riders will cover one more lap of the city circuit than the women, for a total of just under 172km and 2123 metres of climbing.
The Men Elite road race will be held on Sunday 6 August 2023 starting at the awe inspiring dormant volcano, Arthur’s Seat, and then progress through Edinburgh’s Old Town, passing close Edinburgh Castle before crossing the Firth of Forth and taking in the breathtaking coastline of Fife.
Riders, spectators and the global TV audience will next take in views including the stunning sculpture of The Kelpies and then the National Wallace Monument before proceeding down the popular cycling route of the Crow Road on the way to the thrilling, technical circuit in Glasgow, where they will finally cross the finish line alongside George Square in the heart of the city.
The Women Elite road race – including the Women Under 23 road race - as well as the Men Under 23 road races will see the starting line placed along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, with the peloton leaving the gateway to the Loch Lomond &Trossachs National Park and heading towards
Fintry. Riders will then climb as they pass through Stirlingshire and then onto East Dunbartonshire, following the route as they head into the final 62 km stretch to the Glasgow circuit.
Entering from Glasgow’s west end, the road race route navigates the city starting with a climb to Park Circus and panoramic views across Kelvingrove Park before heading in to the city centre, passing the internationally recognised Glasgow School of Art, University of Strathclyde, the historic Glasgow Cathedral and stylish Merchant City.
The circuit then takes riders back west, passing the Gallery of Modern Art and traversing Buchanan Street, the city’s premier shopping street, before taking in the iconic Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery and the world-renowned University of Glasgow, both striking architectural landmarks in Glasgow’s west end.
The riders will then go along the eclectic Byres Road before racing back to conclude with an exciting finishing straight at George Square.
As per the competition schedule announced on 8 September, the road race for the Men Under 23 will take place on Saturday 12 August 2023 with the Women Elite road race, which includes the Women Under 23 category, closing this inaugural and history making competition on Sunday 13 August 2023.
The Junior Road races take place on the Glasgow Circuit on Saturday 5 August. The Junior Men will complete 9 laps (129km) and the Junior Women 5 laps (72km).
Stirlingshire, steeped in history, will host the Individual Time Trials from 9 to 11 August, which will take place on a typically Scottish time trial course. Stirling’s iconic landscape will provide a fitting backdrop, with the city also having held the opening time trial as part of the inaugural Pru Tour in 1998, won by cycling legend Chris Boardman.
There are volunteering opportunities at all venues, including the newly announced venues of Edinburgh and Loch Lomond. For more information visit the Volunteering section of our website.
UCI President David Lappartient said: “With less than a year to go until the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, it is fantastic to be able to visualise the road races for the Elite and Under 23 categories. The spectacular and challenging routes will guarantee the show that the organisers had promised us. The athletes now have a clear vision of what awaits them in the battle for the rainbow jersey next year.”
Paul Bush, Chair of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, said: “The announcement of Edinburgh and Loch Lomond as starting venues for the inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, further demonstrate this is truly a pan-Scotland event for everyone to come along and enjoy.
“Glasgow and Scotland are global leaders in the delivery of innovative and world-class major events. Set against the backdrop of some of the country’s most iconic and spectacular cities and locations, these historic Championships are sure to capture the imagination of athletes, spectators and audiences around the world and showcase why we are the perfect stage for events.”
Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: “The announcement of the route for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Road Races is great news, bringing to life the Scotland-wide nature of the event and the many iconic landmarks and incredible scenery that the athletes will experience. “I hope that this announcement also continues to build excitement following the recent schedule launch and enables spectators, including those coming to Scotland, to make plans for what will be the biggest cycling event ever held.”
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken, said: “The road race events at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will be a real highlight of our sporting calendar with stars from across the continent competing. The great road races of France, Spain and Italy all showcase their cities and countryside to massive audiences, and I am sure these events will do the same for Glasgow and our neighbours. Including these events as part of the competition schedule gives sports fans a fantastic opportunity to see elite riders race past their doorsteps, this summer - for free.”
Scottish athlete Neah Evans who became the first Scottish woman to win three medals at the same Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this summer, including silver in the road race said: “When I started cycling, I trained on the roads around Balloch. I’m so excited for the best riders in the world to compete in some of the most scenic surroundings of Scotland as part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. It will be an honour for the Women Elite road race to draw the largest cycling event in history to a close.”
Cllr Val Walker, Culture and Communities convener at City of Edinburgh Council said: “We very much look forward to hosting a key event of the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships.
“Edinburgh’s architecture, recognised around the world will offer a beautiful backdrop to the city events highlight for 2023, as both resident and visiting cyclists and enthusiasts come to see and support the sport’s elite. As well as the visual spectacle of the Championships, the event will also help to support and amplify the City Mobility Plan and promote active and sustainable travel.
“As with previous cycling events in the city, the race will be managed in full consultation with our Public Safety and Roads Teams, as well as Police Scotland and summer festival partners, to ensure a safe and exciting event can be enjoyed by all.”
Martin Thomson, Head of Transport resilience, from Transport Scotland said:
“We’re delighted Scotland’s transport network will play its part in hosting these exciting races and bringing some of the country’s most famous landmarks to a worldwide audience. “We look forward to working with all the event partners to help deliver a world class event for the inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships.”
Stirling Council Leader, Cllr Chris Kane said: “The announcement of the time trial route in Stirling is an exciting milestone as we build up to the world’s biggest ever cycling event next year.
“This unprecedented sporting spectacle will showcase all of Stirling, from our stunning rural areas to the historic city centre, all in front of a global audience. It will reaffirm Stirling’s status as a world-class events destination and hopefully inspire people of all ages and abilities to get active through cycling.
“Key partners will now engage with communities in the areas where the route will pass through to ensure residents and businesses can maximise opportunities from this unprecedented sporting spectacle and disruption is minimised from the road closures.
“Plans on how this engagement process will take place will be shared with residents and community groups as soon as possible.
“Over the next 11 months, we are looking forward to working with partners and communities to deliver a safe, inclusive and successful event.”
West Dunbartonshire Council Leader, Councillor Martin Rooney, said: “Loch Lomond and its world- famous bonnie banks will provide a stirring backdrop that resonates with television viewers across the globe.
“West Dunbartonshire promises a warm welcome for the competitors and thousands of spectators expected to gather in Balloch for the start of the Women’s Elite Road Race – plus the women’s and men’s Under 23 races.
“We are proud to play our part in a truly global sporting event that will once again reinforce Scotland’s reputation as a world class tourist and event destination. Additionally, we recognise the health and environmental benefits of active travel and hope that the sight of so many elite cyclists riding through our community will inspire our residents to get on their bikes too.”
Welcoming thousands of the world’s top cycling athletes as well as fans from around the globe, the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will not only showcase the amazing venues and cities hosting events across the country but will also highlight Scotland as a top destination for elite cycling and cycling tourism.
The recently announced full schedule of events for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, including all 13 UCI World Championships can be found on our website.
The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will take place across 11 days from 3 to 13 August 2023 in venues and locations in Glasgow and across Scotland. This is the first time all 13 UCI World Championships will be combined into one mega-event, making it a cycling event unmatched in size and scale. More than a million spectators are anticipated as well as a global television audience in nore than 160 markets, making it one of the most significant events in the UK next summer.