16 August 2021

The countdown is on to the 2023 Cycling Worlds!

16 August 2021 marks two years to go until the historic inaugural event and to celebrate the occasion we have unveiled the five iconic Glasgow venues.

A graphic celebrating two years to go until the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships featuring Katie Archibald

Today (16 August) marks two years to go until the historic inaugural event and to celebrate the occasion we have unveiled the five iconic Glasgow venues that will play host to eight of the 13 individual world championships on display in August 2023. 

Tokyo Olympic medallists Neah Evans and Katie Archibald MBE joined our Chair and CEO, Paul Bush OBE and Trudy Lindblade;  Chair of Glasgow Life and Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor David McDonald; and 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Ambassador, Shanaze Reade; in Kelvingrove Park to share the exciting news and kick-off the two-year countdown.

Katie Archibald MBE, Double Olympic Gold Medallist from the Rio and Tokyo Olympics said:  

“There's two years to go but I'm already super excited about the 2023 Cycling Worlds, which are a major target for me. I would love to be crowned one of the best in the world on my home velodrome in Glasgow and it will be great to see all the different cycling disciplines come together in one event. Bring on 2023!” 

Among the disciplines coming to venues across Glasgow are: 

  • Kelvingrove Park will be packed with action as it welcomes recent Tokyo Olympic debutant event BMX Freestyle as well as BMX Flatland and Trials. BMX Freestyle sees riders perform a sequence of tricks as they travel between obstacles and ramps while BMX Flatland has cyclists competing to out-trick each other on flat smooth surfaces. Trials is one of the most thrilling cycling disciplines, requiring cyclists to maintain control, stability, and speed as they accumulate points for passing over course sections without their feet or any part of the bike, excluding the tyres, touching the ground. 

  • BMX Racing heads to the Glasgow BMX Centre in Knightswood, where fans will see the world’s bravest and best compete in high-speed sprint races across a purpose-built off-road single lap racetrack. The event will also include BMX Challengethe amateur version of elite BMX racing.  

  • The Emirates Arena will come alive with cycling’s most awe-inspiring events, Artistic Cycling and Cycle Ball. Artistic Cycling is performed indoors with riders completing tricks on specialised fixed-gear bikes. Mixing cycling and gymnastics, the discipline is demonstrated in the 2023 Cycling Worlds ‘Two Years To Go’ video by world-renowned artistic cyclists, Viola Brand, who has captured the world’s attention with her unique ability. Cycle Ball is a non-contact team sport in which opposing sides consisting of two riders aim to outscore each other within the game. Participants shoot at the goal using the front and back wheel of their bike as well as their heads. Riders’ feet are not allowed to touch the floor and they are unable to use their hands apart from when goalkeepers are defending within the penalty area.  

  • A favourite amongst spectators, Track Cycling and Track Para-Cycling will be on display at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in 2023. This sees cyclists compete in variety of exciting events which require speed, stamina, and mental skill. Track events will include the individual pursuit, the time trial and the keirin. 

  • The city’s famous George Square will play host to the finish line of the Road Cycling events. The roads and landmarks around the city will showcase this exciting event which traditionally attracts huge crowds of spectators.  

Five remaining venues across Scotland will be announced over the coming months. 

Speaking after today’s announcement, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Chair Paul Bush OBE, said:  

“It’s really exciting to mark the ‘Two years to go’ milestone by unveiling the first of the venues for what promises to be a spectacular event which will unite the world in a celebration of cycling and the ‘power of the bike’.  This is the first in a series of exciting plans we have not only for the event itself but as part of our wider vision to be a rallying cry for more people in Scotland and around the world to ride bikes for sport, for health, for our climate and most of all for fun.” 

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships were awarded to Glasgow and Scotland as a result of the country’s previous experience hosting high-profile sporting events. Scotland and Glasgow have become a sporting hotspot by welcoming unforgettable competitions such as this summer’s UEFA EURO 2020 matches, the 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as the 2018 European Championships.  

Reacting to the news, Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development, Jenny Gilruth said:  

“I warmly welcome the news that five renowned Glasgow venues are confirmed to host the world-class sport we will enjoy during the UCI Cycling World Championships in August 2023. This reflects the importance of the event to Glasgow and Scotland. 

 Hosting the biggest cycling event in history is a game-changing opportunity for cycling in Scotland, allowing us to use the power of the bike to deliver transport, health and environmental benefits to communities across the country. 

 As we mark two years to go, I have no doubt that excitement will continue to build across Scotland as the Championships approach and I hope this will encourage even more people to get active on their bikes.” 

Since the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, participation sessions at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome experienced positive uptake and cycling numbers have risen across Scotland. It is hoped the Championships can continue the increase of pedal power in Scotland, and perhaps inspire the next generation of riders.   

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said:  

“We’re delighted to celebrate the two years to go landmark by announcing the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Glasgow venues, especially today’s venue of Kelvingrove Park which honours the city’s reputation as the Dear Green Place.  

“As the only city in the UK to have achieved the UCI Bike City Label, and also hosting the first ever Cycling World Championships, Glasgow is once again demonstrating its commitment to continually improve and build on our past successes. We have numerous world-class venues which will be at the heart of this event, with elite athletes training and competing within them on a regular basis. However, importantly, these same venues were built for and can be accessed by the people of Glasgow every single day. 

“Over the next two years and beyond, we’ll use our status as host of the Championships to boost our ongoing work to support and promote active travel and recreational cycling, as well as encouraging more people to learn to ride and enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits it brings.” 

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships is being delivered in collaboration between cycling world governing body the UCI, Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, UK Sport, British Cycling, Glasgow Life and VisitScotland. The partnership aims to create a blueprint for future editions by ensuring the inaugural event is authentic, innovative and distinctive. 

The UCI currently stages annual World Championships in each of its disciplines across the year in different host cities around the world. The UCI Cycling World Championships will bring 13 championships together every four years, starting with the inaugural event in 2023.