Inside 2015: The Race Courses

Inside 2015 is a new, monthly post featuring insight from different members of the 2015 staff. Each post will provide an inside view and a unique perspective on a particular aspect of planning for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships.

This month Tim Miller, COO, will share some insights on the course development, the timing of an announcement and perhaps a few hints about the courses themselves.



And yes, there will be cobbles.


Inside 2015: The Race Courses

By Tim Miller, COO (@tmillerjr)

Probably more than anything else, I’m asked about the courses for the 12 World Championship events that will take place in Richmond.

The 2015 World Championships will feature four different courses:

  1. The team time trial for pro men and women
  2. The individual time trial for pro women, JR men & women and Under 23 men
  3. The individual time trial for pro men
  4. The road race circuit that will be contested by all

There is a comprehensive and meticulous process that we go through, in partnership with Medalist Sports and the municipalities impacted by the courses, to identify, review and tweak each course. The process concludes with a final review and certification by the UCI’s Technical Director.

There are a number of things that must be considered when developing the courses, including: 

First, we must have a thorough understanding of the UCI’s technical requirements and specifications.

Second, we must consider what’s best for the competition. That includes developing a course that is both technically challenging and safe for the athletes and the spectators. After all, this is THE World Championships!

From there we look at route options from a tourism and marketing perspective, considering the landmarks and neighborhoods that the Richmond Region will want to showcase to the hundreds and millions that will be turning in from around the world.

Finally, we look at how we can minimize the impact for local citizens and businesses from a traffic management point of view. The impact is unavoidable. After all, the races take place on public streets throughout the region. But that is the beauty of it, too! Because of where the event takes place it presents a rare opportunity to showcase the region in a way that few other events can.

Courses will be announced in the early part of 2014, giving everybody at least 18 months to plan and prepare for this great event.

I can hear some of you reading this right now saying “yea, yea, yea, but where’s the race going to go?” Here’s what I can tell you at this point.

All the races will finish downtown on Broad Street, where the last few hundred meters is relatively flat, but the lead-up in the final kilometers is a real grind. Each lap of the 10-mile road circuit will contain a number of short, but challenging climbs. Each lap of the circuit contains about 400 feet of climbing.

And yes, there will be cobbles. It wouldn’t be Richmond without some cobbles. Some nice and neat and relatively easy to get across and others, well, not so much. It will certainly make for some exciting racing.

Keep the conversation going. Share your questions, thoughts and feedback in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.

  1. Alex Miller

    I would hope Monument Avenue makes the cut. Beautiful. Historic. With cobbles and roundabouts. Video shots of riders passing statues would look very Champs like.

  2. Duane Gran

    While a 10 mile lap has a lot of logistic advantages, it would be wonderful for the race to make it to the mountains for the road race. This would really showcase a lot of the natural beauty of Virginia to the world audience and permit the race to run through more communities.

    • Lee

      Hi Duane, thanks for the comment. No doubt that mountains add a whole other element to a race (and Virginia mountains always factored prominently in the Tour de Trump and Tour du Pont). However the format of the World Championships is a circuit, has been for the last several decades.

  3. Chris

    I think it would be a mistake to not include some of the beautiful hills and mountains in VA. If only the winning bid was for VA but it sounds like it is for Richmond only. And that is still OK. But from a racer’s and fan’s perspective urban cycling is just not as fun.

    • Lee

      Hi Chris, thanks for the comment. As mentioned, the format of the World Championships is a circuit, generally in close proximity to an urban center. Mountains certainly add an element of excitement to a race, but we’re confident that our circuit will produce racing that is challenging and exciting to watch.

  4. Brian

    Was there ever any consideration for a finish at Richmond Raceway? Maybe for at least one race out of the group? Races in Europe have finished in arenas, and offer spectacular viewing by large audiences.

  5. Spencer Oswald

    YES, THERE WILL BE COBBLES… They will be included at the Collegiate National Test event right???? Please say, “Yes”


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