Richmond vying to host 2015 world road race championships
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Richmond vying to host 2015 world road race championships

by VeloNation Press at 2:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
 
Bid confirmed today, worlds last held in US in 1986

UCI world championshipsTwenty four years after the world road race championships was held at Colorado Springs, it was confirmed today that Richmond, Virginia will bid to host the top-level races in 2015 and thus bring the world’s top riders to the States.

The news was announced at a teleconference broadcast from the Greater Richmond Conference Center, at which Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones, USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson, Virgina resident and USA national road race champion Ben King were present. David Kalman and Darach McQuaid of Shadetree Sports were also there, and would be involved in organising the event if the bid is successful. McQuaid is the brother of current UCI president Pat McQuaid.

Today’s news is very important, but not a huge surprise; a press release issued last Friday hinted heavily at the nature of today’s announcement, saying that “an international cycling event of this caliber has not been held in the US for almost 25 years.”

Jones emphasised the sport’s history in the region, talking about the previous hostings of stages of the Tour du Pont and the Tour de Trump there. He also underlined what the city could offer, and also achieve from hosting the worlds.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the United States, and the city of Richmond in particular,” he explained. “Our city is centrally located and easy to access, offers great lodging and tourist attractions, and is a strong supporter of athletic and cultural events. There is no better place for the 2015 World Road Cycling Championships than right here in Richmond, Virginia.”

Johnson discussed the important performances American riders have had in the history of cycling. Greg LeMond and Lance Armstrong have both won the Elite road race title, as well as winning multiple Tours between them.

“It is time to bring the sport back to America,” said Johnson, talking about the length of time since the worlds were last held on US soil.

“Richmond’s efforts to bring cycling’s marquee event back to American soil will not only be an opportunity to showcase one of the country’s most historic arenas to the world, but will also give hundreds of thousands of cycling fans in the Mid-Atlantic region the opportunity to witness the world’s best compete in one of the world’s most popular sports.”

If successful, the bid is one which could sync very well with cycling in the US, given that it has a number of promising young riders which could well be contenders in five years time. These include Taylor Phinney, the 20 year old BMC Racing Team rider who won the world under 23 championship time trial this year, and also took his second successive track worlds title and Under 23 Paris-Roubaix win. King is another very talented young competitor and said that for a pro cyclist, the chance to represent his or her country was very important. Doing so on home soil would be even more special.

No details of the proposed route were unveiled at this point in time. The championships will be held in Copenhagen in 2011, followed by Limburg in the Netherlands in 2012 and Florence in Italy in 2013. Canada is also bidding for the 2015 worlds, meaning that there will be two candidates from North America.

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