By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Madrid
As it did with Verona in 2004, Italy will host the 2008 World Road Championships. This time, it will be in Varese, in the Alpine northern Lombardy region, close to the border of Switzerland.
Varese has prepared for the road races with a circuit of 17.6 kilometres. The parcours has a small climb with its summit at km 1.65, and then there are three descents. At km 10.5 the road climbs until km 13.58 where it flattens out, before returning to the start/finish in the "Le Bettole" hippodrome.
For the time trials, there are three different routes, starting and finishing like the road races. The men’s TT parcours is 45 km and will be held on a beautiful route around Lake Varese. The course has a climb with its summit at km 2.25. After 7 km, it descends, and most of the rest of the course is flat or undulating.
In terms of logistics, Varese boasts a complete motorway network, a very good railway system, and is close to the Milan's Malpensa airport. In terms of cycling history, the region of Lombardy has one of the richest traditions in the world, but it hasn't hosted the World Championships for approximately 50 years. Current stars from Lombardy include Ivan Basso (CSC) and Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel), and in the past, great riders such as Gianni Bugno and the first ever world champion, Alfredo Binda, came from Lombardy.
In other World's news, the UCI awarded the 2007 B World Championships to Cape Town (South Africa), and the 2008 BMX World Championships to Taiyuan (China).