TechPowered By

More tech

Richmond announces courses for 2015 UCI Road World Championships

Laura Weislo
February 25, 19:15,
February 27, 14:40
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, March 24, 2014
UCI Road World Championships
Rui Costa (Portugal) resplendent in the rainbow jersey after winning the 2013 road race world championship

Rui Costa (Portugal) resplendent in the rainbow jersey after winning the 2013 road race world championship

view thumbnail gallery

Historic Tour DuPont elements included

The organisation of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships today revealed the course designs which will be used for the road races, team time trials and individual time trials in the city of Richmond, Virginia next year.

Although not a mountainous region, Richmond is famous for the sharp climbs that rise out of Shockoe Bottom and Historic Shockoe Slip - ascents which were used in the Tour DuPont and Tour de Trump in the 1980s and 1990s plus the US Open of Cycling in 2007 - and those ascents will feature prominently in the final kilometers of the road race.

The course is not expected to be a pure climber's course, nor one for the sprinters, but will favor riders like Philippe Gilbert, Fabian Cancellara or Peter Sagan.

Tim Miller, CEO for Richmond 2015, unveiled the courses, with the road race and time trial circuits to be used for the 2014 USA Cycling collegiate national championships on May 2-4, 2014, as a test event ahead of next year's Worlds, taking  place September 19-27, 2015.

Miller stated the committee had to take three factors into account when designing the courses: competition, tourism, and impact to businesses and residents.

"If all we had to worry about was the competition, it would be easy," Miller said. "[we had to consider] the areas of city, county and state that they want to show off, and how local residents and businesses will be impacted. We've worked hard to find that balance and meet courses that meet those objectives."

The courses themselves show little evidence of compromise, and bisect the center of Richmond, criss-crossing the James River and taking in sweeping views of the city's skyline.

The 16.5km, urban road race circuit for the elite men and women tackles the daunting cobbled climb of Libby Hill Park, rising up from the James River, the 110m-long 19% grade of 23rd Street, and the smoothly paved but still taxing ascent of Governor's Street. All three climbs will feature in the last 3km of the road race, creating a proving ground for worthy champions. The junior, U23 and the collegiate championships will skip 23rd Street and use a 15.5km course.

UCI president Brian Cookson was on hand for the course announcement, saying, "I am truly excited that the UCI Road World Championships will return to the US for first time in nearly 30 years, the last time was at Colorado Springs in 1986. The courses that have just been unveiled are certainly worthy for a world championships. I'm very excited by what I've seen today. The urban setting is very interesting. It takes in a bit of Monument Avenue, and two cobble stone climbs including the wonderful Libby Hill climb, which would surely have a place in the Tour of Flanders if it was in Belgium," Cookson said.

The team time trial will begin with a flat and fast stretch from Rockett's Landing, heading along the James River on Route 5, on flat, scenic rural roads. The course will then twist and turn through Henrico County, heading through the Richmond National Battlefield Park, then back into Richmond's downtown through Shockoe Bottom and up Governor's Street to the finish at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

The Individual Time Trial circuit will head west from downtown Richmond, heading over to Monument Avenue, turning around at the Jefferson Davis monument, and is the only course to cross the James River on its out-and-back loop. The 15.5km course has several short, punchy climbs which will be taken in on each lap. The course will be used for the collegiate championships, and all of the categories of the Worlds except for the elite men. At Worlds, two laps will be utilised for all categories except for junior women.

The elite men's individual time trial will be a 53.1km point-to-point course that will start from the King's Dominion theme park and travel along largely flat roads through Hanover and Henrico counties en route to downtown Richmond. Coming into the finish, riders will tackle the climb on Governor's Street en route to the line.

The marquee event, the road race, will be contested on a circuit starting from the convention center, turning 180 degrees at the Jefferson Davis monument, down the cobbles of Shockoe Slip, then turning back to the steep, cobbled climb of Libby Hill and heading back through town to tackle the cobbles of 23rd Street.

The highly technical course contains numerous twists and turns, ascents and descents, throughout the circuit.

To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here.

Jspear 4 months ago
I'm two hours NE of Richmond...I can't wait!!
nightfend 4 months ago
Definitely more of a sprinters-type course. Probably great for Sagan, but only if the faster guys like Greipel, Kittel and Cavendish are not still hanging around at the end.
Old Man Velo 4 months ago
I assure you it is NOT a sprinter's course. It is a hard man's course evocative of the spring classics. Find a copy of the US Open Championships from 2007. Much of the course is the same, but this will be even tougher. That race shattered. Granted, the field wasn't as prime, and the weather was nuts (snow at the start). This is a technical course with cobbles, including two cobbled climbs in the last 3K, short punchy hills and a false flat leading into the finish (the last few hundred meters of which are flat). Sagan might be a contender, but Cav will not. Look for Gilbert, Spartacus and others like them.
TMinetti 4 months ago
Everyone needs to follow the same rules as Sochi olympians: don't drink the water, don't let the water touch your face, don't bathe with the water, don't brush your teeth with the water, don't look at the water, don't listen to what the water says, stay away from the water.
Julian Shapiro 4 months ago
Wrong state. Water problem were in Charleston WEST VIRGINIA. Not Richmond Va.
sbroaddus 4 months ago
get outta here, TMinetti. what Julian said.
Old Man Velo 4 months ago
TMinetti is probably from WVa
dgduris 4 months ago
Wasn't there some other race that re-discovered historic Libby Hill?
yeagermeister 4 months ago
2007 US Open. It started in Williamsburg, in wet and heavy snow (in April), and ended in Richmond, with the final circuits hitting Libby Hill about 4-5 times I think. Svein Tuft won it by launching an attack on Libby on the last lap.
KatoMiler 4 months ago
What a fantastic race that was. I think it was Danny Pate… the last guy to be with Tuft. Then Tuft surged on the cobbled climb and dropped him too. It was cold and snowy, and every guy who finished that race looked like they'd been to hell and back. The U.S. version of a spring classic. I was very disappointed to not see it repeated. That day, Svien proved to everybody he was "Tuft enough." Tuft has always been one of my favorite riders. I got a chance to meet him and see him race at a local crit in central California (I was racing age groupers) when he was with Symmetrics. What a story, how he came to race the pro ranks.
velogeek 4 months ago
Wonder if there are any Americans up to going for a home victory. Our ranks are looking a little thin in the top echelons of the sport these days. TJvG would not be right for this one. Phinney?
bigmig1000 4 months ago
Horner will still be racing in 2015. Would that be a great way to cap his career. GT and a WC would be so cool
bike_boy 4 months ago
Horner is the only realistic winner America has. TJ, Phinney and most of the others are major under achievers.
offbyone 4 months ago
nuvolablu 4 months ago
Giro-Vuelta double this year and Tour + Worlds in 2015
bandarkar36 4 months ago
This is the worst possible course for horner: he's terrible on the cobbles, cannot sprint to save his life, and he's a horrible puncheur, too
malknight 4 months ago
And he'll be even older than he is now.
crispy 4 months ago
The climbs are short but steep so maybe not one for the pure sprinters. Regardless though I'm only an hour away from Richmond so am really looking forward to seeing how it plays out in person!
jim.bridges77 4 months ago
I don't know of any Americans that would be best for this course especially with Sagan being so good at short punchy climbs and sprinting. Boonen, Cancellera, Rodriguez are all good at short steep punchy climbs but are getting older. Definitely not Horner. It would be nice but the climbs need to be longer. I would love to see Phinney, Talansky, or Farrar give it a go. I think Phinney and TJVG are going to be targeting the time trial as their main goal. Its really a classics course so it will be interesting to see who shows their colors in the 2014 and 2015 spring classics. Its going to be a peak for the 2015 classics , maybe the Vuelta, and then peak for worlds. Im putting my money on Sagan if he is healthy. Its still so early to tell...
Martin 4 months ago
Sagan doesnt have a team. He can win only if everybody else will forget that.
jim.bridges77 4 months ago
We will see. Belguim will be stacked with Gilbert and Boonen. The Italians could show up. I hope his brother Juraj works out with Cannondale and they can do well at worlds. Of course, GO Team USA!
old school hard 4 months ago
What about Super Dave or the Baltimore Bullett?
bigmig1000 4 months ago
Bobby "the Bullet" Phillips, "Super" Dave Osborne, John Wirsing... dream podium for Worlds 2015. love all of these guys, much respect!!!
jmdirt 4 months ago
I'm only about 3000 miles down the road, but I might find a way to make it to this one!
rickpaulos 4 months ago
Looks like a huge criterium course. Biggest climb is only 50 meters.
Anonymous 4 months ago
then stay home