The 2022 UCI Road World Championships: A Preliminary Look

by Keven S. Reinhart
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The World Championships of Road Cycling, organized by the UCI, will be held in Australia, and while the live broadcast is available, on-demand streaming looks like a more convenient choice.

UCI Road World Championships:

From September 18-25, 2022, Wollongong, Australia, will host the Road World Championships. The top women’s and men’s races at the Road World Championships on September 24 and 25 will follow courses that feature the Mount Keira Loop and the Wollongong City Circuit. Each race will complete one round over Mount Keira, the men’s peloton will ride 12 laps in Wollongong’s city centre, while the women’s will do 6. Junior and under-23 races will take place on the complete Wollongong circuit.

 

The routes developed by AusCycling are geared toward the strongest riders in the peloton. The riders who succeed Elisa Balsamo and Julian Alaphilippe as world champions will have to endure a route that will be a war of attrition, marked by repeated, complex accelerations. The city course is 17.7 kilometres long and features 220 meters of elevation gain per lap. Most of the height gain occurs during the 1.1-kilometre ascent of Mount Pleasant, which features an average gradient of 7.7 percent and a maximum incline of 14 percent. Riders’ legs will feel sharp pain with each passing lap, and the going will get even more challenging as the race progresses.

Wollongong’s city roads, which make up the circuits around the city, are similarly congested and difficult to manoeuvre due to their many twists, bends, and other obstacles. On each lap, the teams must strategize their approach to Mount Pleasant, and the battle to the foot of the ascent is sure to be intense. However, the elite riders must first conquer Mount Kiera, an 8.7-kilometre ascent with an average gradient of 5% and slopes at 15%, before reaching this point. Though this occurs too early to be crucial, it may spell the end of some riders’ prospects of going for victory. It will contribute to the accumulated weariness that will build over the day of racing for the elite men’s and women’s categories.

After the races in Wollongong, whoever wears the rainbow stripes will have earned them; this World Championship will be one of the most competitive in recent memory. Nearly four thousand meters in elevation gain characterizes the men’s race, making it comparable to a mountain stage of the Tour de France. The route encourages attacking and aggressive racing, and the Worlds always give just the right amount of drama, so it should be quite the show for the spectators as well.

Please scroll down to view the complete courses for the men’s and women’s elite individual time trial world championships.

 

Schedule of all events for the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong

Sunday, September 18, (Day 1)

Time Trial for Top Women Racers, 34.2 Kilometers

Men’s 34.2K Elite Individual Time Trial

Monday, September 19,  (Day 2)

A 28.8-kilometre time trial for men under the age of 23.

Tuesday, September 20 (Day 3)

Female Youth Division 14.1Km Individual Time Trial

Individual 28.8-kilometer Junior Men’s Time Trial

Wednesday, September 21 (Day 4)

Twenty-eight-and-a-half kilometre mixed-team relay

Friday, September 23, is (Day 5)

135.6 km Junior Men’s Road Race

U-23 Male Road Race: 169.8 Kilometers

Saturday, September 24, (Day 6)

Road Race for Young Women: 67.2 Kilometers

The 164.3-kilometre Elite Women’s Road Race

Sunday, September 25, (Day 7)

Men’s Professional Road Race: 266. km

 

How to Watch UCI Road World Championships

In the United Kingdom, viewers may see highlights on BBC2 and watch the games live on the BBC’s iPlayer and BBC Sport website (also on the Red Button for certain matches).

With a Flobikes subscription, American fans may watch the World Championships live and on demand.

The elite women’s and men’s road races at the World Championships will be shown live and for free in Australia on Nine Network. For the full racing program, subscribers to Stan Sport may watch both live and on-demand coverage, commercial-free.

 

Time trial course for the 2022 UCI Road World Championships, which will feature top riders from both men and women.

PROBATION FOR WOMEN ONLY

Sunday, September 18, 2022

The event will begin at 9:35 a.m. AEST (23:35 GMT)

Time of conclusion: around 12:30 a.m. AEST (2:30 GMT)

Travel Time: 1 hour and 34 minutes

An increase of 312 meters in altitude

TEST OF INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR MEN

Time and date: September 18, 2022

Time to begin: 13:40 local time (AEST) (03:40 GMT)

Time of completion: 18:00 (about.) AEST (8:00 GMT)

Travel Time: 1 hour and 34 minutes

An increase of 312 meters in altitude

For the elite men’s and women’s divisions, the race will cover a total distance of 34.2 kilometres, with each participant completing two laps around Wollongong’s city centre on a challenging and technically complex 16.8-kilometre course. With 30 turns around the course, you’ll need to be a skilled bike handler to do well.

Each lap features a modest ascent up Mount Ousley. Though not as difficult as the Mount Pleasant ascent the racers will face later in the day, this section could prove to be a test of endurance as the race progresses. It’s a rolling loop with a total elevation gain of 312 meters, so it’s not just about power. The victor must be technically proficient and have a well-rounded skill set.

Read more

Announcing the UCI Junior Road World Championships for Women and Men in 2022

On September 23, the junior men’s race will go the 135.6 kilometres (or 8 laps) of the Wollongong City Circuit, with a total elevation gain of 2016 meters.

The next day, on September 24, the junior ladies compete in a four-lap race on the Wollongong City Circuit. The elite men’s race will end a few hours before the elite women’s and will cover a total of 67.2 kilometres and gain 1008 meters in elevation.

 

The 2022 UCI Road World Championships for Men Ages 23 and Under

Time and date: September 23, 2022

Time to begin: 1:00 PM AEST (4:00 GMT)

The event will conclude at around 17:10 AEST (8:10 GMT)

The 169.8-kilometre distance

A gain in Altitude: 2520m

One of the best chances young male riders have to make a global impression is the U23 men’s event at the World Championships. 21-year-old Filippo Baroncini, an Italian rider for the WorldTour team Trek-Segafredo, won the event the year before.

The men’s U23 race in Wollongong will take place on the city’s circuit, with the riders completing 10 laps for 169.8 kilometres and 2520 meters of ascent. Since the U23 women still do not have their competition at the World Championships, the best U23 female rider will receive the jersey regardless of where she places in the elite women’s race. According to UCI, the first-ever women’s under-23 World Championship race will take place in 2025.

 

Road course profile and map for the 2022 UCI Road World Championships for elite women drivers.

 

The date is September 24, 2022.

The event will begin at 12:25 p.m. AEST (3:25 GMT)

It will end at around 16:58 AEST (7:58 GMT)

164.30 miles

Progress in altitude: 2433 meters

The women’s peloton will ride the same 61.9-kilometre first leg as the men, including the ascent of Mount Keira. The women’s race has a shorter distance. Thus they will reach the top of Mount Keira with only 122 kilometres left to go. The women’s race on Mount Keira is still quite a ways off from any decisive moves. Still, there has been a recent tendency in the peloton toward long-range efforts (think Anna Kiesenhofer’s solo victory at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics).

At the Wollongong City Circuit, the women’s peloton will ride six times for 164.3 kilometres. This implies that the women’s road race at the World Championships is still one of the longest one-day races for women. The quick, challenging route around Wollongong should be ideal for riders like Annemiek van Vleuten, Lotte Kopecky, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, and Demi Vollering.

Specifics of the Men’s Elite Road Race at the 2022 UCI Road World Championships

 

September 25, 2022

Time: 10:15 am AEST (1:15 GMT)

Scheduled completion time is 16:51 (AEST) (7:51 GMT)

The total mileage is 266.9 kilometres.

The gain in altitude: 3954 meters

Helensburgh, a town south of Sydney and north of Wollongong, will be the starting point for the men’s World Championships road race. To kick off the day, the riders will descend 6.9 kilometres down a neutral stretch to Stanwell Park, the location of the day’s official start. From there, the cyclists will pass the Wollongong finish line for the first time before beginning the ascent up Mount Keira, which is 27.7 kilometres away. We should expect a battle for the breakaway to take hold throughout these first few kilometres of flat riding.

The total distance of Mount Keira Loop is 34.2 kilometres, with 473 meters of elevation gain. The first kilometre of Mount Keira is a steep incline of ten percent on average, and it only gets worse from there. The pace slows down but picks up again between kilometres 5 and 6. In its steepest section, the climb presents a maximum grade of 15 percent, and the current Strava KOM time is 16 minutes and 47 seconds. There are still 225 kilometres to go before they hit the hill, so it will be fascinating to see which teams are eager to divide things early in the race.

After climbing Mount Keira, the racers will race down the south side of the mountain to Spring Hill and then begin the first of twelve laps of the Wollongong City Circuit. As the first challenge of the lap, a short ascent up Mount Ousley serves merely as a warmup for the subsequent ascent of Mount Pleasant.

With grades like that, the climb’s name is practically sadistic, and riders won’t like the ferocious kicker even the first few times, let alone the tenth or eleventh. An average of 7.7 percent can be expected across the 1.1 kilometres of the climb, with a peak grade of 14.1 percent after only 300 meters. Anyone who gets separated from the pack on the ascent of Mount Pleasant will have difficulty regaining contact on the tricky and windy descent back to the coast.

The race’s climax will occur along the lap’s last five kilometres once the road levels off again. Not all riders will be able to complete this gruelling course. Therefore it is unclear if a smaller peloton or a breakaway will cross the finish line in Wollongong. It’s the race where bold moves and aggressive strategy are rewarded, so it could be a good fit for riders who usually excel in the hillier classics.

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