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The 2022 UCI Road World Championships are set to bring sub-tropical rain forests, a huge sea bridge and a leg-rumbling climb next summer.
Organizers of next year’s races in Wollongong, southeast Australia, have given a preliminary sketch of the routes awaiting Elisa Balsamo, Julian Alaphilippe, and Co. and are promising “a celebration of the unique topography of the region, from the coast to the city to the escarpment that encircles the area.”
Exact details are yet to be released, but the road races will include a mountainous loop taking in the 8.7-kilometer Mount Keira ascent before returning to Wollongong for a technical city-center circuit. The downtown loop also includes a strength-sapping climb maxing out at 14 percent gradient.
Time trials will take place entirely within Wollongong and will see men and women racing over the same distance on the same day for the first time in worlds history.
“The courses are exciting and challenging, and will provide ample opportunity for fans to immerse themselves in the event and see the world’s best cyclists in action,” UCI president David Lappartient said.
“The UCI is pleased to have been working closely with the local organizing committee over the past 12 months to create courses that are complex, technical and will separate the true champions from their peers.”
Racing will play out in its typical late-summer slot shortly after the Vuelta a España from September 18-25.
The week of competition opens up with the double-header of men’s and women’s and elite time trials and will close with the elite road races on September 24 and 25.
Australia is hosting the worlds for the first time since Geelong in 2010, and it will see the country embracing the return of international competition. The cancelation of the Tour Down Under, Cadel Evans Road race and wider Aussie summer of cycling for 2022 due to tight COVID restrictions marks the second consecutive year that Australia has been bypassed by top-tier racing.
Organizers are hoping to see 300,000 spectators and 10,000 international visitors bring a financial surge of up to $100 million Australian Dollars to the New South Wales region.
“Wollongong is a city that is rich in diverse, natural assets including a coastline that encompasses remarkable cliffs, crystal clear water and golden sandy beaches which contrasts with the abundant escarpment,” said Wollongong 2022 chair Dean Dalla Valle.
“These features will shine on the broadcast and be an appealing drawcard for spectators, the UCI and the athletes who have not competed in Australia for several years.”
Elite women’s TT – September 18
Elite men’s TT – September 18
Elite women’s road race – September 24
Elite men’s road race – September 25