The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced today that Richmond, Virginia has been selected as the site of the 2015 road world championships.
"Bringing the road world championships back to the United States truly punctuates the outstanding state of cycling in America," said Steve Johnson, president and CEO of USA Cycling. "From the success of American riders and U.S.-based professional teams in Europe to our ever-growing domestic membership to world-class stage races like the Amgen Tour of California and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, the 2015 UCI Road World Championships is yet another milestone towards the continued growth and success of the sport. We appreciate the UCI's trust in Richmond and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Mayor Jones, Tim Miller and Medalist Sports in making these road Worlds one of the best."
The 2015 UCI Road World Championships are scheduled to take place September 19-27 and will feature elite men and women, under 23 men, and junior men and women. Events will include the road race, individual time trial and a new team time trial competition that will feature the world's top professional teams. The only previous time the UCI Road World Championships were held in the United States was in 1986, when they took place in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
"It's rewarding to be able to not only bring the road Worlds back to the U.S. but to bring them to Richmond," said Mike Plant, a member of the UCI Management Committee who was instrumental in bringing the Worlds back to the United States. "Richmond stepped up and proved they could support world class cycling when we brought the Tour de Trump and Tour DuPont to the city in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s."
"Richmond is thrilled to be selected to host the 2015 road world cycling championships, joining a list of great cities like Madrid, Florence and Copenhagen," said Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. "Bicycling, for transport and fitness, has been an important focus of my administration. Hosting the world championships will help bring Richmond one step closer to being one of the world's great bicycling cities."
American men and women have won 14 world championship titles in both the road race and time trial, including road race titles by Greg LeMond in 1983 and 1989 and Lance Armstrong in 1993. More recently, world championship titles and medals in the individual time trial have been won by Kristin Armstrong, Amber Neben and Taylor Phinney.
"The road world championships have not been held on American soil in my lifetime," said Taylor Phinney, multi-time road and track world champion. "It will certainly give me, and the entire new generation of American cycling something to aspire to."
Earlier on Wednesday, the UCI confirmed that the only other contender in the running for the 2015 Worlds, Muscat, Oman had withdrawn its bid. "This decision in no way detracts from the commitment to develop cycling, as a sport and as a leisure activity, in the region," read a statement on the UCI website, which also reiterated its support for the development of the annual Tour of Oman, the next edition of which will be held from February 14-19, 2012.
The third candidate host city, Quebec, withdrew its bid in late March of 2011.