Florence will host the 2013 world road championships. The UCI Management Committee announced the awarding of the event to the Italian city after a meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday.
“It’s a victory for Italian cycling,” said the president of the Italian Cycling Federation Renato di Rocco. “It’s a victory for Tuscany’s great cycling tradition. It’s a victory for Franco Ballerini. It’s a victory for the great sage Alfredo Martini.”
Remarkably, it will be the first time that the Worlds will take place in Tuscany, one of the heartlands of Italian cycling. While the finish in Florence will provide a spectacular centrepiece to the event, nearby towns of Lucca, Montecatini Terme and Pistoia will also host part of the week of racing.
“The organising committee, together with the local councils, have put together a winning project that brings together the beauty of the area and the hardship of cycling,” Di Rocco said.
The Florentine bid beat off opposition from Ponferrada in Spain and Hooglede-Gits in Belgium to host the Worlds. Genoa also submitted its candidature to the UCI, but without the support of either the Italian Cycling Federation or the Italian Olympic Committee, the Ligurian city’s bid was defeated, as had been the case in 2009.
The UCI Management Committee also awarded the 2012 Mountain Bike and Trials world championships to Leogang-Saalfelden in Austria, the 2010 track Para-cycling world championships to Montichiari in Italy after they were cancelled in Cali, Colombia, and the 2011 and 2012 track Para-cycling world championships to Los Angeles.