12 August 2023

One of the most watched cycling events ever!

Record numbers tune in to watch the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow and Scotland.

Great Britain's Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham compete in the Para-cycling track at the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland is set to become the one of the most watched cycling events ever, with broadcast figures from the first four days of action showing record numbers of viewers are tuning in at home and abroad. 

In the first four days, more than two million viewers in the UK alone watched the action unfold live on the BBC with more than one million watching Austrian Valentina Höll and Great Britain’s Charlie Hatton become the Women's and Men's Elite Mountain Bike Downhill UCI World Champions in the stunning surroundings of Fort William.

Charlie Hatton takes Gold at the Mountain Bike Downhill event at Fort William
Great Britain's Charlie Hatton takes Gold at Fort William

A further peak of 800,000 viewers tuned into the dramatic Men's Road Race on Sunday 6 August, as Mathieu van der Poel clinched the rainbow jersey, in front of a further 300,000 people who lined the route between Edinburgh and Glasgow and during the 10 laps of Glasgow’s tough city circuit. With an average of 600,000 viewers, it was the highest UK television audience for a UCI World Championship Men Elite road race in recent years: an average of 350,000 viewers in 2020 (in Imola, Italy), 220,000 viewers in 2021 (in Flanders, Belgium) and 188,000 last year (in Wollongong, Australia).

The Track and Para-cycling Track competitions, held jointly for the first time, had an average of 500,000 viewers tuning in to watch the competition at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome.

Japan's Keiko Sugiura wins the Women C3 500m Para-Track Time Trial final
Japan's Keiko Sugiura wins the Women C3 500m TIme Trial
"After the many months and years of planning, it really has been special to see the number of fans making their way to the roadside, or into venues to watch the world's best cyclists compete across all disciplines."

The total number of spectators to watch the cycling in person now exceeds more than 500,000, whether it's witnessing the action on Scottish roads, at the BMX Freestyle Park at Glasgow Green, the Mountain Bike Downhill in Fort William, the Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon in Glentress or Track and Para-cycling Track at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, while millions more have tuned into the action from overseas. 

The statistics on 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships official social media reflect the interest worldwide, with a reach of 4.6 million and more than 193,000 engagements with people liking, sharing and commenting on posts across the first four days of the event. The 2023 UCI Cycling World Champs website has also had 400,000 unique users since the start of the event, with the schedule page being the most popular.

The numbers will no doubt be boosted by what is set to become a record-breaking Women's Elite Road Race on Sunday, with thousands of fans expected to create a wall of noise around Glasgow once again, as the world's leading female cyclists have the honour of closing the biggest event in the history of the sport. 

“I have been visiting different competition venues since the beginning of the UCI Cycling World Championships so have experienced first-hand the fervour of on-site spectators."