The organisers of the 2014 world championships in Ponferrada have ruled out the possibility of a hilltop finish to the individual time trial events at San Cristobal. The announcement came as the UCI confirmed the schedule for next year’s Worlds, which take place from September 20-28.
The 9km-long San Cristóbal de Valdueza climb has an average gradient 6% but includes stretches as steep as 11%, but Ponferrada mayor Samuel Folgueral explained that the UCI had turned down the idea of an uphill finish to the time trial, citing logistical reasons and the desire to attract as strong a field as possible.
"From an economic point of view, it was impossible because two finish lines [for the time trials and road races – ed.] would have been required," said Folgueral, according to Biciciclismo. Were there a hilltop finish, Folgueral continued, "some of the leading figures might not come."
All events at the Ponferrada will instead finish near the National Energy Museum on Avenida de la Libertad. Spain’s first coal-fuelled power plant was opened in Ponferrada in 1949.
Details of the 2014 Worlds road race and time trial courses were originally supposed to be presented in Florence in September, but will instead be unveiled next week in order to coincide with the launch of the event website. UCI Sport and Technical Director Philippe Chevallier and UCI Road Coordinator Matthew Knight visited Ponferrada this week to approve the courses and recommend necessary changes to road layout to be made before next September.
The schedule for the Ponferrada Worlds mirrors that of this year’s event in Florence. Racing gets underway with the team time trials on Sunday, September 21, with the individual time trials taking place over the following three days.
There is no competition on Thursday, September 25, to allow for open training on the road race circuit and the UCI’s junior conference. The women’s road race takes place on Saturday, September 27, with the men’s elite road race the following day.
Schedule for 2014 UCI Road World Championships:
Saturday, September 20
Training – team time trial course
Sunday, September 21
Elite women – Team time trial
Elite men – Team time trial
Monday, September 22
Junior men – Individual time trial
Under-23 men – Individual
Tuesday, September 23
Junior women – Individual time trial
Elite women – Individual time trial
Wednesday, September 24
Elite men – Individual time trial
Thursday, September 25
Training – road race course
Friday, September 26
Junior women – road race
Under-23 men – road race
Saturday, September 27
Junior men – road race
Elite women – road race
Sunday, September 28
Elite men – road race