Climber-friendly time trial taken out of 2014 worlds lineup
Officials insist the world championships in Spain are on track despite early financial difficulties
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Spain’s efforts to host the 2014 world road world championships have been slow out of the gate, but it appears things are back on track for the weeklong event September 20-28.
The small city of Ponferrada in northwest Spain has struggled both with financing and organizational questions, but the UCI gave the routes a thumbs-up after a site visit last week.
Two UCI technical advisors visited Ponferrada, a city of 80,000 inhabitants in Spain’s relatively isolated Bierzo region, to approve the schedule of events slated for next September.
Course details and distances are expected to be released as soon as this week, but talk of a climbing time trial has definitely been scuttled.
Local organizers were hoping to feature a climbing individual time trial course over the deceptively steep terrain of Bierzo that seemed to favor the climbing specialists in the Spanish peloton.
That effort, however, was set aside when UCI officials deemed a climbing course inconsistent with the time trial specialists, including three-time world champion Tony Martin.
Details revealed by local media suggest that all time trial and road racing events will conclude at the same finish line near central Ponferrada.
Since being awarded the event, local organizers have struggled to find financial backing and sponsors to cover the estimated $15 million price tag to host the road worlds. There were red flags after Ponferrada did not make a formal presentation that was supposed to coincide with the 2013 Tuscany road worlds in September.
Officials insist things are back on track, and course details should publicly be unveiled as soon as this week to coincide with the debut of an event website.
Here are details of the racing schedule for the 2014 UCI Road World Championships:
Sunday, September 21: Elite men and women pro team time trial
Monday, September 22: Junior and U23 men individual time trial
Tuesday, September 23: Junior and elite women individual time trial
Wednesday, September 24: Elite men individual time trial
Thursday, September 25: Road race training
Friday, September 26: Junior women and U23 men road race
Saturday, September 27: Junior men and elite women road race
Sunday, September 28: Elite men road race