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The World Champs are coming to Scotland… all of them!
Every year, the best cyclists in the world compete against one another in their various disciplines, typically, these events are spread across the globe, however, this year, they’re all coming together in one country. Between August 6th-13th, the world’s most elite cyclists will descend on Scotland to compete in events across the nation! Most exciting to us, five of these events will be held on our doorstep, at Glentress Forest in the Tweed Valley! These epic races, including Mountain Bike Cross-country and Cross-country Marathon, will ride right by our Alpine Bikes Glentress store. Join us in getting close to the action and read on to find out where and when some of our favourite cycling disciplines will be having their events.
When: 8-12 August
Cross Country Mountain bike racing is the ultimate test of cycling endurance and technical ability. Competitors ride a 4 to 6 km off-road loop between 5 and 7 times, making for a total distance between 20 and 42km. The course is a purpose-built track with steep, rough hills and plenty of challenging technical features. Efficient climbing and fast descending are both required in spades for riders to be competitive.
On Tuesday 8th August the Cross-Country qualifying round will be totally free to attend, following Cross-Country events, also hosted at Glentress, will be ticketed. Tickets can be purchased on the UCI’s page. Around these races, there will be many exciting fringe events and our Alpine Bikes Glentress store will be open for bike-related shopping!
When: 6 August
The cross-country marathon is a truly unique event. It involves riding an off-road route of around 100km in length, so it’s a real endurance challenge. However, the thing that really sets it apart is that as well as a field of around 150 elite racers competing, thousands of amateur riders set off behind them to enjoy and race on the same course as the pros.
The Cross Country marathon is totally free to spectate. The start line is at Traquair House, and then the 100km loop of the Tweed Valley finishes at Glentress. On the day there will be many exciting fringe events and our Alpine Bikes Glentress store will be open for bike-related shopping!
When: 3-5 August
Where: Fort William
Downhill mountain biking is possibly the wildest and most exhilarating event of the World Championships, both for riders and spectators. The course starts half way up a Munro, Aonach Mòr, and runs right to the bottom of the mountain. It is chock full of rocks, roots, jumps and drops but the racers take it on at astonishing speeds of up to 70km/h. After practice runs, competitors must qualify for the final. Then they ride the course in reverse qualification order, so the fastest riders are the last to descend. This makes for close competition with the “hot seat” never being safe until the last rider is down.
When: 5-6 & 8-13 August
Where: Across Scotland
World Championship Road Racing is in an intense battle with cyclists from around the world competing for the rainbow jersey. The racing is split into 3 events: Individual Road Race, Individual Time Trials and Mixed Team Relay. This might sound complex but we’ve broken each of them down for you.
When: 9-13 August
Where: Dumfries and Galloway
Para-cycling road racing follows a very similar format to road racing, just with adaptations for cyclists with various disabilities. Mostly the adaptations are equipment based with the event itself not changing. Racers are grouped into classes, for example, visually impaired cyclists will be paired with an unimpaired “pilot” on a tandem bike, while those with lower limb impairment would be in a different class using hand cycles. The racing is incredibly tight with more and more nations competing each year as para-cycling gains momentum and becomes more accessible.
When: 4 & 7 August
Where: Roads around Glasgow
The Gran Fondo or “Big Race” is a mass participation road cycling event with a huge starting pack, where the aim is simply to get around the course as fast as possible. This race is all about inclusion but that doesn’t mean it’s not competitive. The front of the pack will be hotly contested but even those who aren’t going for gold will be fighting for a new personal best. Pacing tactics count for more than sprinting ability here. With a course between 120 and 200km long with around 3000m of climbing, the Gran Fondo is as much a test of mental resilience as it is one of physical endurance. Follow the action from the side of the road or from your living room for nail biting drama, crushing lows, and soaring highs all the way to the finish line.
When: 3-9 August
Where: Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow
Track cycling is raced in a velodrome that’s 250m around the track with steeply banked sides to keep the riders on track while they take the corners at high speeds. But track racing is so much more than riding around in circle until someone crosses the finish line. There are multiple different events with different formats that test, not only the physical strength of the racers, but also their wit, communication, and tactical planning skills. There are 11 events in total, so there’s something different happening every day.
When: 3-8 August
Para-cycling track racing features the same events as track, just with adaptations for cyclists with various disabilities. Mostly the adaptations are equipment based with the event itself not changing. Racers are grouped into classes, for example, visually impaired cyclists will be paired with an unimpaired “pilot” on a tandem bike, while those with upper limb injuries would be in a different class using bikes with adapted handlebars. 6 events will feature, from pure physical efforts like the individual pursuit to tactical challenges like the team sprint.
For more information, the complete event schedule, and to purchase tickets, visit the UCI’s website.
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