During the last week of September, the cycling world turned its attention to the streets of Innsbruck-Tirol, a small town in the heart of Austria. Each year the Road Cycling World Champs delivers a different spectacle where we are treated to a different style of race and tactics. These largely depend on the type of course that is selected for the road race. This year the course suited the climbers, with 5000m of ascent on the 260km route. It’s hard to imagine merely riding that, let alone racing it!
The Road Cycling World Champs week, which falls towards the end of the cycling season, is also special because we are exposed to new cycling talents as the junior and under 23 riders battle it out for their own rainbow jersey. The future of cycling is definitely bright, with both the juniors of the women’s and men’s races producing exciting racing. A highlight and revolution from the weekend in the junior races was Belgian youngster Remco Evenepoel,who two years ago was playing soccer for the national youth team.
Under two years later later he becomes DOUBLE 2018 UCI Road World Champion in both the Men Junior Time Trial and Road Race 🥇🥇 pic.twitter.com/jZtcl4YmHI
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) October 4, 2018
What does the future have in store for Evenpoel?, Time will tell. We hope to see him grow into a leading figure in the pro peloton. Prior to winning the junior world champs titles he had already signed with Quick Step Floors Pro Cycling Team for two years, a set-up that will hopefully allow him to build on the potential that he has.
Our other two highlights were the racing in the elite men and women’s races.
Anna van der Breggen produced a dominant performance to clinch the women’s elite title, beating her closest rival by 3 minutes and 42 seconds.
Two weeks after Van der Breggen claimed the title, the cycling world is wondering what’s next for the Olympic and world champion.
There are also exciting developments in women’s cycling globally which we are all excited to hear more about as they develop.
🥇 2018 UCI Road World Champion
🥇 2016 Olympic Road Race Champion
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) October 6, 2018
The men’s race went down to the wire and it was Alejandro Valverde who had the quickest sprint. Valverde, many would argue, is in the twilight of his career and has waited manys year to stand on the top step at the world champs.
There have been mixed reactions in the peloton and global cycling community about his victory. But regardless of these views ,we want to congratulate Valverde on his title and wish him all the best for the 2019 season in the rainbow jersey.
📰 Check out just how long @alejanvalverde had to wait to claim 🥇🌈 in the Road Race at a UCI Road World Championship!
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) October 2, 2018
There were a number of great cycling performances over the week in Innsbruck-Tirol. You can read all about the standout performances from the week here.
The cycling season is slowly drawing to a close for 2018, with the last couple of races being lined up for the pro peloton. The world champs this year produced exciting racing and the 2019 has the potential to be a cracking season. We await the release of the Grand Tour routes later in the year and it will be interesting to see which General classification riders target each race. Will Froome attempt the double again? We will have to wait and see!
Thanks Innsbruck-Tirol for playing host for worlds this year, if you missed the action check out #InnsbruckTirol2018.