The UCI has invited African nations to bid to host the 2025 World Road Championships. In a press released issued Friday morning, the UCI said “A letter of invitation and a document designed to help prospective candidates with their bids have been sent to all 50 National Federations of the African Cycling Confederation.”
“The staging of the UCI’s flagship event in Africa in 2025 will represent a significant step forward in growing the popularity of our sport. It is an occasion that will see the world’s top riders, hundreds of reporters and hundreds of thousands of spectators come together for the very first time in Africa, over the course of eight whole days,” he said in the press release from the UCI.
“The Management Committee and I are delighted to see Africa host the UCI Road World Championships and for the continent to have the opportunity to show its passion for and commitment to cycling. We cannot wait to join the fans in watching the events.”
The bid deadline is September 2019, after which the UCI, following the approval of its Management Committee, will announce the name of the city selected at its annual Congress.
The sport of cycling has become extremely popular in Africa in recent years, with South African team Dimension Data becoming part of the WorldTour. A number of African riders have made their way through the UCI’s World Cycling Center to join the WorldTour level, including Eritreans Daniel Teklehaimanot (Cofidis), Natnael Berhane (Dimension Data) and Tsgabu Grmay (Trek Segafredo), and Ethiopia’s Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data).
Defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome was born in Kenya. Other top African cyclists include Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data), Daryl Impey (Mitchelton Scott) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio.
Rwanda has often been mentioned as a possible host for the World Championships, because of its very popular Tour of Rwanda and love of cycling. South Africa has experience in hosting major cycling championships, having hosted the Mountain Biking Worlds in 2013 and the Para-Cycling Worlds in 2017.
Finances are always a key question when bidding for World Championships, starting with a multi-million fee that has to be promised as part of the bid. Bergen was left with a huge debt from cost overruns after hosting the Worlds last year. Italy has still to confirm its bid to host the 2020 World Championships after political delays in confirming government funding. Yorkshire will host the 2019 World Road Race Championships, with the 2018 World Championships to be held in Innsbruck, Austria.