Who will get the 2015 UCI Road World Championships? Richmond, Virginia in the United States or Québec City, Québec in Canada. Both, with the support of their respective mayors and cycling federations, have put in a bid to hold the event in 2015, and according to canoe.ca, they are the only two cities so far to throw their names in. The winner will be announced at the yearly UCI meeting in September, held during the next Worlds in Copenhagen.
How big is this?
- Held annually, the UCI Road World Championships represent the most important road cycling event in the World for National Cycling Associations. – The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA)
- The World Championships attract more than 300,000 onsite spectators and is viewed by a global television audience of more than 300 million people. The 2010 Championships, held in Melbourne, Australia, generated tens of millions of dollars in economic impact to the host city. – from USA Cycling.
The nine-day Road World Championships award junior 17-18, U23 and elite road cycling and time trial world championships for both men and women. At stake is the rainbow jersey.
Québec City. The name behind the bid is Serge Arsenault, the man responsible the two World Tour (aka ProTour) races in Québec City and Montréal last fall, and he has a 5-year contract with the UCI to put on the two races. Organizer of the Grand Prix des Amériques (World Cup races) from 1988 to 1992 and of the Tour Trans-Canada in 1999, Arsenault is no stranger to professional cycling. And he is also the owner of canal Évasion which owns the broadcast rights of the Tour de France in Québec.
According to canoe.ca, Québec City is in for 30% for Worlds and Arsenault is looking for for both the provincial and federal governments to pitch in their monetary support for the race budgeted at $20 million (Canadian).
To compare, the estimated budget for the two World Tour races was $4.5 Millon (Canadian). The two cities, Québec City and Montréal have committed to 18.6 millions over five years for the two Grand Prix races and the Québec Provincial and Canadian Federal governments agreed to put in together 1.8 million for the first edition.
Canada has hosted the UCI Road World Championships twice in the history of the event, most recently when Hamilton, Ontario welcomed the world’s top cyclists in 2003. The other occasion was 1975 in Montréal as an Olympic test event. n 2010, Canada successfully hosted two UCI World Championships: the UCI Para-cycling World Championships in Baie-Comeau, QC and the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, QC.
For Arsenault, the two World Tour races are definitely in his favor, the success of the races and the dates as the World Championships would take place one week after the Quebec and Montreal races, providing a week for journalists to fill.
“Our bid is in a position of force, The UCI will base its decision on our ability to deliver events which we have successfully demonstrated with the Québec and Montréal races last September. Québec remains the link between Europe and North America and everything works in our favor: the time difference, the public interest, the beauty of the city, etc.” Arsenault told canoe.ca. He estimated the cost of his bid to be $200,000 C.
Richmond. The folks responsible for promoting the Tour of Ireland, Shadetree Sports was were brought in to organize and promote the race. And one of the principals of the firm is Darach McQuaid, younger brother of UCI president Pat McQuaid. According to their website, Shadetree Sports is also working on The American Tour, “a 10-day, 1000-mile men’s professional stage race competing for the largest purse in history”, to be held in the Spring of 2012.
The city of Richmond is also no stranger to professional cycling events. “Richmond has a very strong and rich cycling history. We are the only city to host a stage in every single Tour de Trump and Tour DuPont race during the life of those events.” Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones said at the press conference announcing the bid. He also added that the city also was part of the Cap Tech classic from 2003 to 2006
The Tour de Trump, held in 1989 and 1990, was followed by America’s major cycling stage race, the Tour DuPont held between 1991 and 1996. In its final year, the UCI upgraded the 1,225-mile Tour DuPont’s ranking to 2.1 from a 2.2. Originally added to the 2010 NRC calendar, the Richmond Richmond Twilight Grand Prix was canceled due to lack of sponsorship funding.
The last Road World Championships held in the United States were in Colorado Springs, CO in 1986. The Cyclocross Masters World Championships will be held in Louisville, KY on 2012 to be followed Cyclocross World Championships in 2013.
Who will get it? As part of the bid, the organizing committees must show experience hosting major cycling events in the last five years, such as UCI ProTour events, UCI 1.1 / 2.1 road events, or a UCI World Cup/UCI World Championships.
The Road World Championships will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2011, Limburg, The Netherlands in 2012 and Florence, Italy in 2013. Who will be hosting the 2015 edition? Both cities have cycling history. On one side you have experience in putting on current World Tour events in the same city and connections with all level of governments, on the other, organizing and promoting stage race and the McQuaid connection.