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UCI Road World Championships 2021

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men's road race podium for 2020 UCI Road World Championships

Julian Alaphilippe (France) on podium in new rainbow jersey at 2020 Road World Championships in Imola (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Women's road race podium 2020 Worlds

Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) on the podium as winner of the road race, next to Annemiek van Vleuten (Netherlands) who took silver and bronze medallist Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) (Image credit: Getty Images)

State of the nations

2021 World Championships previews

Worlds overview

The 2021 UCI Road World Championships return to a full schedule in Belgium for a 94th edition of the annual competition. The Flanders region of Belgium will host racing from September 19 to 26, with 11 rainbow jerseys up for grabs. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Road World Championships, first contested for amateurs in 1921. 

Racing will be spread across four host cities - host cities Knokke-Heist, Bruges, Antwerp and Leuven. Last fall the junior and Under-23 events were not held due to COVID-19 coronavirus restrictions, but all disciplines are back on the schedule this year. It is the ninth time Belgium has hosted the Road World Championships, and sixth time across Flanders. 

2021 World Championships stories and features

Time trials

The start of the time trials is situated on the North Sea beach and will take riders through the centre of Knokke-Heist. The routes will then go inland for finishes in Bruges. 

The elite men open competition on Sunday, September 19 with a 43.3km race against the clock. Elite women and Under-23 men will ride a 30.3km course the next day, and juniors will compete on September 21, the junior men riding 22.3km and the junior women riding 19.3km. 

The team time trial mixed relay was introduced in Harrogate in 2019 and is back on the schedule on September 22. The event will see national teams of three men and three women. The men's teams will start in Knokke-Heist and ride in the direction of Bruges, over a similar route as the other TTs. Upon arrival after 22.5 km in Bruges, the women's team will take over, for a 22km route and finish in Bruges.

The reigning champions will be back to defend – Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) for the elite women and Filippo Ganna (Italy) for the elite men.

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Elite Men's ITT course 2021 UCI Road World Championships

Individual time trial map for elite men at 2021 UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Flanders 2021/UCI)
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Elite Women and U23 men's ITT course 2021 UCI Road World Championships

Individual time trial map for elite women and U23 men at 2021 UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Flanders 2021/UCI)
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Junior Men's ITT course 2021 UCI Road World Championships

Individual time trial map for junior men at 2021 UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Flanders 2021/UCI)
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Junior women's ITT course 2021 UCI Road World Championships

Individual time trial map for junior men at 2021 UCI Road World Championships (Image credit: Flanders 2021/UCI)

Road races

The junior men will contest the first road race, taking place on Friday, September 24 across 121.4 kilometres on a circuit course in Leuven. The competition will start at the famous Ladeuzeplei. With eight laps on a local circuit in Leuven, with four hills on each lap, and a winner crowned on the slightly uphill Geldenaaksevest.

Then the U23 men will battle on a 160.9km course that begins in Antwerp and ends in Leuven, using the same local circuit as the juniors for two-and-a-half laps, and also take on a Flandrien circuit that offers six climbs.

Saturday is a day for the women, with the junior women riding a 75km Leuven circuit course, followed by the elite women taking on a 157.7km course with 1,047 metres of elevation gain from Antwerp to Leuven. After arriving in Leuven, the riders will take on the local circuit one and a half times, then the Flandrien loop, and finish with two and a half more laps of the local circuit to determine the winner of the rainbow jersey.

Sunday will focus on the elite men, for a monster 268.3km ride with 2,562 metres of elevation gain from the Grote Markt in Antwerp to Geldenaaksevest in Leuven. In total they will ride eight times on the local Leuven circuit and twice around the Flandrien loop.

The defending champion for elite women is Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands) and for the elite men is Julian Alaphilippe (France).

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Road race map for elite men at 2021 UCI Road World Championships

Road race map for elite men (Image credit: Flanders 2021/UCI)
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Road race profile for elite men at 2021 UCI Road World Championships

Course profile for elite men's road race (Image credit: Flanders 2021/UCI)
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Road race map for elite women at 2021 UCI Road World Championships

Road race map for elite women (Image credit: Flanders 2021/ UCI)
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Road race profile for elite women at 2021 UCI Road World Championships

Course profile for elite women's road race (Image credit: Flanders 2021/ UCI)
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Flandrien circuit

Flandrien circuit map (Image credit: Flanders 2021/ UCI)
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Leuven local circuit

Leuven local circuit map (Image credit: Flanders 2021/ UCI)
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Road race map for U23 men at 2021 UCI Road World Championships

Road race map for U23 men (Image credit: Flanders 2021/ UCI)
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Road race map for junior women at 2021 UCI Road World Championships

Road race map for junior women (Image credit: Flanders 2021/ UCI)
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Road race map for junior men at 2021 UCI Road World Championships

Road race map for junior men (Image credit: Flanders 2021/ UCI)

Stages

  • UCI Road World Championships 2021
    19 September 2021 - 26 September 2021 | Leuven | CM
    • Men Elite Individual Time Trial | Knokke-Heist - Bruges
      2021-09-19 43.3km
    • Men Under-23 Individual Time Trial | Knokke-Heist - Bruges
      2021-09-20 30.3km
    • Women Elite Individual Time Trial | Knokke-Heist - Bruges
      2021-09-20 30.3km
    • Women Junior Individual Time Trial | Knokke-Heist - Bruges
      2021-09-21 19.3km
    • Men Junior Individual Time Trial | Knokke-Heist - Bruges
      2021-09-21 22.3km
    • Team Time Trial Mixed Relay | Knokke-Heist - Bruges
      2021-09-22 44.5km
    • Men Junior Road Race | Leuven - Leuven
      2021-09-24 121.4km
    • Men Under-23 Road Race | Antwerp - Leuven
      2021-09-24 160.9km
    • Women Junior Road Race | Leuven - Leuven
      2021-09-25 75km
    • Women Elite Road Race | Antwerp - Leuven
      2021-09-25 157.7km
    • Men Elite Road Race | Antwerp - Leuven
      2021-09-26 268.3km

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