UCI Cycling World Championships 2023: From track and road to BMX and mountain bike – Glasgow set for cycling festival

Global cycling royalty descends on Glasgow this week as Scotland sets the stage for the UCI’s experimental new combined Cycling World Championships uniting 13 disciplines.
Glasgow plays host to the 2023 UCI World Championships.Glasgow plays host to the 2023 UCI World Championships.
Glasgow plays host to the 2023 UCI World Championships.

From the old favourites of track and road cycling to the growing disciplines of BMX and mountain bike and more curious elements like cycle ball and artistic cycling, the championships bring together all strands of competition on a push bike bar winter favourite cyclo-cross.

More than 6,000 cyclists will battle for more than 200 rainbow jerseys over the course of 11 days from Thursday. Each discipline has its own annual championships but the world governing body wants to bring them together every four years in a festival of cycling which can be the sport’s equivalent of a World Cup, although a comparison with a multi-sport event like the Commonwealth Games might be more apt.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Road stars will head to Scotland fresh from, or feeling the affects of, the Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes. The women’s road race, the grand finale of these Championships on August 13, will see reigning champion Annemiek van Vleuten face the likes of Lotte Kopecky, Tour winner Demi Vollering and Britain’s former world champion Lizzie Deignan. Reigning men’s champion Remco Evenepoel has been preparing for the Vuelta a Espana but will defend his road title and seek another in the time trial, where Geraint Thomas will challenge him before also heading to Spain.

Two-time Tour winner Tadej Pogacar will lead Slovenia in the road race, but the man who beat him to yellow in Paris, Jonas Vingegaard, will sit it out, with the lumpy, technical course not offering enough to the pure climbers. Instead, it looks like one for Classics specialists. Tour stage winners Jasper Philipsen and Mads Pedersen, who took the rainbow stripes in Harrogate in 2019, will be up against the likes of Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel.

Tom Pidcock will park the road bike and instead focus on the mountain bike, looking to take the rainbow stripes from 10-time world champion Nino Schurter and add them to his Olympic crown. Pidcock’s Ineos team-mate Pauline Ferrand-Prevot is the defending women’s cross-country champion, but faces new kid on the block Puck Pieterse and Commonwealth champion Evie Richards, looking to reclaim the title she won in 2021.

Van Aert may yet join Pidcock in Glentress Forest, but the unwieldy schedule for these championships have left dozens of multi-discipline riders facing tough decisions. Ethan Hayter would have been a candidate for the road but will focus on the track, having been part of the British team that topped the medal table in Tokyo.

Italy’s Filippo Ganna and Jonathan Milan will skip the road race in order to focus on powering the Olympic champions in the men’s team pursuit, while the Dutch will look to continue their sprint dominance through Harrie Lavreysen, winner of 11 world titles, and team-mate Jeffrey Hoogland.

For the first time at a world championships, the para-track racing will be combined with the rest of the track programme, with Neil Fachie and Jody Cundy seeking more glory. Beth Shriever wants to recapture the BMX racing title she lost to Felicia Stancil last year while Kye Whyte, second to Simon Marquart in Nantes, will try to go one better.

The freestylers will take to Glasgow green, where Olympic champion Charlotte Worthington is up against four-time world champion Hannah Roberts. Kieran O’Reilly and Declan Brooks carry British hopes in the men’s event against reigning champion Rim Nakamura and Olympic champion Logan Martin, while down in Dumfries and Galloway, Dame Sarah Storey will go for a 17th world title on the road.

Britain tends to keep Olympic powder dry in a final pre-Games worlds, although home support will drive the likes of Scotland’s Katie Archibald, who is targeting the team pursuit, Madison and omnium. There is a healthy contingent of riders from Scotland, with 37 taking part across all of the disciplines.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The Worlds are going to be insane,” said Linlithgow’s Cameron Mason said. “I want to make the most of them being right on my doorstep, which is why I am going to shoot for two disciplines: the Cross Country Olympic and Marathon. I can’t wait for these World Championships; they are going to be era-defining. We’re going to be looking back on this in ten years time remembering when all the Worlds were in Scotland.”

Scottish Cycling’s Head of Performance and Coaching David Somerville had a message to those flying the Saltire during the event “From everyone at Scottish Cycling, I’d like to wish our Scottish riders the very best of luck for the two weeks ahead – we know you’ll do yourselves proud,” Somerville said. “Use the support to your advantage – we know how passionate Scottish fans are, so channel that energy and use it to inspire you, just as much as you’ll be inspiring those supporting you. From friends and family, to coaches, officials and volunteers, the whole Scottish Cycling community is playing a role in this once in a lifetime event, so whatever your role, rider, supporter, or workforce, remember to enjoy it, as you may never get this opportunity again.”

Full list of Scottish cyclists:

BMX Freestyle Flatland: Reece Thomson – Men’s Elite Flatland

MTB Cross Country: Cameron Mason – Men’s Elite, Isla Short – Women’s Elite, Charlie Aldridge – Men’s Under 23, Corran Carrick-Anderson – Men’s Under 23, Sam Chisholm – Men’s Under 23, Rory McGuire – Men’s Under 23, Anna Flynn – Women’s Under 23, Anna McGorum – Women’s Under 23, Elena McGorum - Women’s Under 23, Ben Allan – Men’s Junior, Reuben Oakley – Men’s Junior, Emily Carrick-Anderson – Women’s Junior, Daisy Taylor – Women’s Junior

MTB Downhill: Greg Williamson – Men’s Elite, Phoebe Gale – Women’s Elite, Louise Anna-Ferguson – Women’s Elite, Mikayla Parton – Women’s Elite, Nina-Yves Cameron – Women’s Junior, Aimi Kenyon – Women’s Junior

MTB Marathon: Cameron Mason – Men’s Elite, Grant Ferguson – Men’s Elite, Isla Short – Women’s Elite, Jane Barr – Women’s Elite, Joanne Thom – Women’s Elite

Para-Cycling Track: Fin Graham – Men’s C3, Neil Fachie OBE (with pilot Matt Rotherham) – Men’s B Tandem, Jenny Holl (piloting Sophie Unwin) – Women’s B Tandem

Para-Cycling Road: Fin Graham – Men’s C3 Road and Time Trial, Jenny Holl (piloting Sophie Unwin) – Women’s B Tandem Road and Time Trial

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Road: Anna Shackley – Women’s U23/Elite Road Race and Mixed Relay Time Trial, Callum Thornley – Men’s U23 Time Trial, Sean Flynn – Men’s Elite Road Race (Reserve), Michael Gill – Mixed Relay Time Trial (Reserve)

Track: Jack Carlin – Men’s Sprint, Ali Fielding – Men’s Sprint, Lauren Bell – Women’s Sprint, Mark Stewart – Men’s Endurance, Katie Archibald MBE – Women’s Endurance, Neah Evans – Women’s Endurance

Trials: Finn Johnstone – Men’s Junior Trials