‘Bigger than Rugby World Cup’: Scotland ready for cycling worlds

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Scottish cycling chiefs said on Sunday that preparing to host the biggest ever world championships in Glasgow next year was a “scary” prospect, but a huge opportunity for the country.

Cycling governing body UCI is experimenting with merging the world championships from different disciplines into one giant event in pre-Olympic years. They will remain separate in other years.

The first such combined event, in Glasgow in 2023, will include road, track, BMX, trials, mountain biking, para-cycling and indoor cycling, which comprises artistic cycling and cycle ball.

Over 11 days, multiple events will be contested in 13 disciplines, which will increase to 19 in France in 2027.

“It’s exciting but scary. It’s a huge opportunity for the sport, a fantastic opportunity for Scotland,” Glasgow championship chairman Paul Bush told AFP.

“It will be our biggest sports event in history which most people don’t quite understand yet.

“Cycling in Scotland is big, mountain biking is now bigger than golf as a tourism value.

“This is bigger than the Rugby World Cup, bigger than the Commonwealth Games.”

The road world championships, which are currently at Wollongong in Australia, usually conclude with the men’s elite road race. But for the first time in Glasgow, women will close the event.

“We will have over 8,000 athletes, both elite and amateur, we need 4,000 volunteers … so the size and scale is really significant,” said 2023 event chief executive Trudy Lindblade.

“It is scary but it is such an opportunity for UCI, cycling as a sport and also the destination.”

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