2020 UCI Road World Championships courses in Switzerland unveiled

The race routes for the 2020 UCI Road World Championships, which will be held in the Vaud and Valais cantons of Switzerland next September, were unveiled in Harrogate, in the UK, at the current 2019 Worlds in Yorkshire on Wednesday.

The organisers of the 2020 Worlds, Alexandre Debons and Grégory Devaud, were joined by UCI president David Lappartient and a number of dignitaries from the organising committee to unveil the time-trial and road-race routes for next year at the Harrogate Convention Centre.

The two principal locations being used are Aigle and Martigny, with the former being used for most starts, and the latter hosting the finishes of all events. The road races – at all levels – will include the climb of the Côte de la Petite Forclaz, just outside the city of Martigny, which is four kilometres long, with an average gradient of 10.2 per cent, with a maximum of 14.5 per cent, mid-way up the climb, and which has 478 metres of elevation, topping out at 909m.

The climb will feature mid-way through each 20km finishing circuit, which will be raced seven times in the elite men's road race, five times by the under-23 men, three times by the elite women and junior men, and once by the junior women.

All road races will start in Aigle, with the 244km elite men's race also taking in extra loops up to Villeneuve, on the edge of Lake Geneva to the north, and, later on the course, out to Sion in the north-east, before joining the Martigny finishing circuit. In total, the men's road race features 4,384m of elevation gain.

Most of the time-trial routes follow a similar course to the road race, albeit over a shorter, more direct route from Aigle to Martigny, with the 22km junior women's and 27km junior men's TT courses starting from Saint-Maurice, south of Aigle.

Unusually, the 2020 championships will start with the 46km elite men's individual time trial on September 20, followed by the other individual time trials over the following two days – the junior events on September 21 and the elite women (34km) and U23 men (39km) races on September 22 – with the newly-introduced-in-Yorkshire mixed relay team time trial then taking place on September 23.

The road races begin on September 25 with the junior women (69km) and U23 men's (162km) events, followed on September 26 by the elite women's and junior men's races (both 123km). The elite men's road race is the last event of the championships, and takes place on Sunday, September 27.

"In a little over a year, we will gather again to witness a legendary edition of the UCI Road World Championships – an event that is expected to be an exceptional sporting show," Lappartient said at the routes' unveiling.

"This event, on the UCI's home turf, will leave a long-lasting mark on the present and future generations, of that I'm certain," he said, referring to the headquarters of the UCI – the World Cycling Centre – being based in Aigle.

"The UCI has granted us the privilege to organise the 2020 Road World Championships – a challenge that we have proudly taken up," said co-presidents of the organising committee Debons and Devaud.

"Is there a better way to promote Switzerland and the cantons of Vaud and Valais than welcoming, over the course of eight days, the world's best male and female riders, while thousands of fans cheer them on along the roads and millions of viewers watch them across the globe?" they said.

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