The organising committee of the 2006 Road World Championships in Salzburg, Austria, have asked the International Cycling Union to be able to organise the men's elite road race on a shorter parcours than initially planned. The original distance being 280 kilometres, the secretary general of the Salzburg World's, Wolfgang Weiss, has asked Hein Verbruggen, former president of the International Cycling Union and now in the function of president of the IOC evaluation commission, to reduce the itinerary to 220 kilometres.
By shortening the distance, the organiser hopes that the event will become more exciting as participating teams will have to play their cards sooner in the race. At the press conference held last Monday, February 13 in Olympic Winter Games location Sestrière, UCI vice-president Verbruggen was also present, and promised to support the proposal within the World's governing body of cycling. The elite road race is scheduled for September 24, 2006.
Austrian cyclist 'Paco' Wrolich (Team Gerolsteiner) was also in favour of the idea. "A shorter distance will make the event more thrilling and attractive," Wrolich commented. "We participated in the Tour of Qatar recently, where the stages didn't exceed 140 or 150 kilometres - the racing was fast and exciting."