Cobbles and mixed-gender time trials set for European Championships in Alkmaar

The European Cycling Championships will be held in Alkmaar, The Netherlands, from August 7-11, 2019. The European Cycling Association (EUC) made the official announcement on Monday morning.

The championships include 13 different races, with elite men and women, U-23 and juniors taking on both road race and time trial. The courses are expected to include cobblestone passages. 

It will also see the introduction of the "mixed team time relay", with national teams. Under this format, a team of three men will ride a lap of the circuit course, before "handing off" to a three-woman team. The time of the second rider to cross the line in each lap will be the official time. This event replaces the team time trial.

Laurens ten Dam (CCC) and Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie) are race ambassadors. "We are already busy testing and plotting the course," ten Dam told Noordhollands Dagblad.

“Alkmaar and its region are put on the map with this. That is good for the economy of the region and wonderful for cycling in the Netherlands,” said Alkmaar Vice Mayor Pieter Dijkman. “As Alkmaarders, let's make it a wonderful event together with the region, the European cycling association and the many volunteers.”

“The Road European Championships is an important event in which 800 athletes from 50 countries will be competing and will have extensive media coverage thanks to the agreement between the UEC and Eurovision,” Rocco Cattaneo, President of the UEC said. “We are especially pleased that this next edition is being held in the Netherlands because when sport is mentioned in this country, it is above all cycling that is talked about.”

The European Championships have been held since 1995 but open to pro riders only since 2016. Titles in the men's road race have gone to Peter Sagan (2016), Alexander Kristoff (2017) and Matteo Trentin (2018), with the time trial being won by Jonathan Castroviejo (2016) and Victor Campenaerts (2017 and 2018).

For the women, the road titles have gone to Anna van der Breggen (2016), Marianne Vos (2017) and Marta Bastianelli (2018). Ellen van Dijk has dominated the time trial, winning it every year.

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