The committee behind Vicenza's bid to host the 2020 World Championships has released full details of the hilly finishing circuit and confirmed that Piazza San Marco in Venice is the planned site for the start of the elite men's road race.
The UCI will announce the host of the 2020 Worlds during next year's World Championships in Bergen. Earlier this year, Innsbruck was confirmed as host of the 2018 Worlds. The 2019 host has yet to be announced.
The Vicenza 2020 bid committee have put together a 20.75-kilometre circuit around Vicenza that will include the stiff climbs of Monte Berico (1.15km at 7%), where Philippe Gilbert won during the 2015 Giro d'Italia, and Via Costacolonna (1.7km at 7.1%). The finish line will be close to the centre of Vicenza, at Via Roma.
Much like the 2013 Worlds in Florence and Tuscany, other cities in the Veneto region would host the starts of several events over the course of the week. Padua is slated host the start of five time trial events and two road races, while Venice will provide a dramatic backdrop to the beginning of the men's road race.
The bid committee plans to have the race's neutralised start on Piazza San Marco, while kilometre zero will be on the Ponte della Libertà, the bridge that connects the centre of Venice to the mainland. The race will then make its way across the Veneto to Vicenza, where it will tackle six or seven laps of the finishing circuit.
"We are optimistic and confident; the project is in an advanced phase, we've put together a high level dossier and it is right and necessary to be optimists. It won't be easy, but now we're seriously aiming towards the milestone in Bergen, Norway, where next year in September the 2020 World Championships will be assigned," said bid committee president Claudio Pasqualin, who added that Eddy Merckx will serve as an ambassador for the bid during next month's Worlds in Doha.
The Vicenza 2020 bid has been welcomed by Italian national coach Davide Cassani, who took over from Paolo Bettini following the 2013 Worlds in Florence. "As a rider my first World Championship was in Italy, in Veneto [in Giavera del Montello in 1985 – ed.] and my last was in Italy again, in Sicily [in Agrigento in 1994 – ed.] To wear the blue jersey on hometown roads, in your native country, cheered along by your local fans, is truly an indescribable emotion."
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