For the first time ever, the 2023 World Championships will be a ‘super event’ with all cycling disciplines fighting for their world titles in the same week in Glasgow. This week spans from August 3-13, with the elite men’s road race taking place on August 6 and the elite women’s on August 13 (the women’s race is later to allow space after the finish of the 2023 edition of the Tour de France Femmes). The road race courses in Glasgow – similarly to those in Wollongong last year – are a puncheur’s paradise, with a 14.3km finishing circuit that includes a steep climb every lap which will provide an ideal springboard for attacks. The technical nature and road furniture of the finishing circuit will undoubtedly have an impact on the race outcome too, it will need to be a well-rounded rider to take the win.
As always at the World Championships, the person who pulls on the rainbow jersey in Glasgow will be a deserved winner; these are going to be extremely tough races of attrition. The long distance of the men’s race especially (close to 300km) will be a challenge of endurance for the riders and the final couple of ascents up the city centre Montrose Street climb will really begin to hurt the legs in the final sections of the race. For fans, this event will be a huge spectacle too, the city centre circuit will invite aggressive racing and spectators will see the riders multiple times as they tick off laps of the loop. We can always rely on the World Championships to provide plenty of drama.
Here’s everything you need to know about the routes for the 2023 UCI Road Race World Championships and the individual time trial events.
UCI Road World Championship 2023 elite men’s road race map and profile
Date: August 6, 2023
Start time: 9:30 (GMT)
Finish time (approx): 15:26 (GMT)
Elevation gain: 3,570m
The elite men’s road race kicks off in Edinburgh with a 120km rolling route to the start of the city centre circuit in Glasgow. On this early section of the course, there is one key climb, Crow Road. The distance of this ascent is 5.9km with an average gradient of 4.8%, with a maximum pitch of 9.7% at its steepest. Coming after just 96.4km of racing in a 271.1km route, this is early in the race to ignite any serious attacks from the big names, but it could still prove crucial in splitting up the peloton. Any riders with bad legs on the day will likely be found out here and we could also get a look at which riders we can expect to battle for victory.
The riders will hit the Glasgow city centre circuit for the first time after 119.8km of racing and the men’s peloton will complete 10 laps of the 14.3km loop. Every lap, there is a big obstacle for any of the lesser climbers in the race in the form of the Montrose Street climb. With an average gradient of 10%, this is a short and punchy ascent that will really begin to test the legs later in the race. It is expected that there will be an extremely reduced peloton at the end of the race, likely with under 50 riders battling for the win. The city circuit is not only challenging for its climbs, but also for its technical nature. It features 42 corners and plenty of road furniture, with rarely a straight piece of road in sight. This is likely to string out the peloton and make it difficult to move up. A course like this can be likened to a slightly less challenging Ardennes Classic which favours the punchy climbers in the peloton who also enjoy attacking racing.
UCI Road World Championship 2023 elite women’s road race map and profile
Date: August 13, 2023
Start time: 11:30 (GMT)
Finish time (approx): 15:50 (GMT)
Elevation gain: 2,229m
The elite women’s race will start in Loch Lomond for a 60km route before the peloton hits Glasgow’s city centre circuit. Similarly to the men’s race, the Crow Road climb is the biggest talking point during this part of the circuit and it comes even earlier in the women’s route than it does the men’s, after just 33.1km of racing. It’s not uncommon to see attacks this far out in women’s racing, though it’s likely that it will not be the winning move that comes at this point in the race. Instead, we could expect to see some of the stronger nations such as Italy and the Netherlands making attacks to try and string out the bunch at this point.
The first lap of the Glasgow circuit comes after 60km of racing for the women and they will complete six laps of the same 14.3km circuit as the men do. Once again, the Montrose Street climb will provide the perfect springboard for attacks and the technical nature of the course will mean that riders who can corner well will also excel here. Despite being considerably shorter than the men’s race, the World Championships is still one of the longest one-day events in the women’s WorldTour calendar so riders will need a big engine to perform well here. Overall, the women’s race includes over 2000m of elevation gain which means that it will favour the climbers in the peloton, there isn’t the sort of long mountains that the likes of defending world champion Annemiek van Vleuten would have hoped for, but there is still plenty of hills where people can be put under pressure.
UCI Road World Championship 2023 under-23 men’s road race map and profile
Date: August 12, 2023
Start time: 11:30 GMT
Finish time (approx): 15:29 GMT
Elevation gain: 2436m
The under-23 men will race the same opening 60km as the elite women from Loch Lomond, also taking in the Crow Road climb after 33.1km of racing. They hit the Glasgow circuit after 60km of racing and then complete seven laps of the finishing circuit which amounts to a total distance of 168.4km of racing, over 100km less than the elite men.
UCI Road World Championship 2023 junior women’s and men's race
The junior men’s race will take place on the August 5 and covers nine laps of the Glasgow City Circuit which is a total distance of 127.2 kilometres with 1865m of elevation gain.
On the same day the junior women’s will tackle five laps of the Glasgow City Circuit. Their race will finish a few hours before the junior men's and will cover a total distance of 70 kilometres with a total elevation gain of 1036 metres.
UCI Road World Championship 2023 elite women’s and men's time trial map and route
All of the individual time trials at the 2023 World Championships take place in Stirling on different circuits of a range of lengths, but all of them finish on a short but difficult climb up to Stirling Castle. The elevation gain in the time trials is not huge, though they are by no means flat routes. It will be important for riders to pace their efforts carefully so they have enough left in the tank to attack the final finishing climb.
WOMEN'S INDIVIDUAL TIME TRIAL
Date: August 10, 2023
Start time: 14:00 GMT
Finish time (approx): 16:29 GMT
Elevation gain: 312m
MEN'S INDIVIDUAL TIME TRIAL
Date: August 11, 2023
Start time: 14:35 GMT
Finish time (approx): 16:59 GMT
Elevation gain: 352m
The under-23 men's time trial takes place on August 9 and spans 36.2km, the junior women's is 13.4km and is on August 10, the junior men's is on August 11 and is 22.8km long. The mixed relay event at the World Championships will take place on August 8.
At the World Championships in Glasgow, Rouleur will be putting on a series of amazing events at the Drygate Brewery on the route of the road race, on the night before and night after both the men’s and women’s road races. Get your ticket today!