The governor, the mayor and a number of cycling dignitaries were on hand earlier this afternoon at the Greater Richmond Convention Center for the unveiling of the courses for the world road cycling championships to be held here in September of 2015.
According to a press release from Richmond 2015 (the organization that helped bring the races here):
Some of Central Virginia’s most iconic views – from Monument Avenue to Libby Hill – will be on display for the world to see when top cyclists from around the globe descend on Richmond to compete in the 2015 UCI Road World Championships.
Richmond 2015, the organizing committee of the nine-day event from Sept. 19-27, 2015, today announced the courses for the 12 World Championship races, which expect to attract 450,000 on-site spectators from the United States and around the world. All of the races will end at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on Broad Street in downtown Richmond; individual events will start in the City of Richmond and surrounding counties.
Two of the courses, the time trial and road race circuits, will be used during the USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals May 2-4, 2014, which will serve as a test event for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships. An additional criterium course also will be used for the Collegiate championships.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones were on hand to make remarks at the announcement. UCI President Brian Cookson and USA Cycling President and CEO Steve Johnson also attended.
This will be the first time the event has been held in the U.S. since 1986, when Colorado Springs hosted.
Here are the races and courses:
- Team Time Trial – Men’s and Women’s (Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015) – Teams depart Rocketts Landing in Henrico County, and head east on Route 5 before winding through Richmond National Battlefield Park. The race enters the City of Richmond in Shockoe Bottom and finishes with a 350-meter-long climb of Governor Street next to the Virginia State Capital and dash down Broad Street to the Convention Center.
- Individual Time Trial Circuit – Junior Men and U23 (Monday, Sept. 21, 2015); Junior Women and Elite Women (Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015) – Racers depart the Convention Center and head to Monument Avenue. A 180-degree turn at the Jefferson Davis monument returns riders toward downtown, where they will speed through Virginia Commonwealth University and cross the James River before finishing with the climb of Governor Street and dash down Broad Street.
- Elite Men’s Individual Time Trial – 33 miles (Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015) – Racers begin their “Race of Truth” in Hanover County at Kings Dominion, and move past Meadow Event Park, birthplace of thoroughbred racing legend Secretariat. Riders will pass the Hanover Courthouse, the third oldest courthouse still in use in the United States, en route to the City of Richmond via Chamberlayne Road and pass through Virginia Union University before finishing with the climb of Governor Street and dash down Broad Street.
- Road Circuit – Junior Women and U23 Men (Friday, Sept. 25, 2015); Junior Men and Elite Women (Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015); Elite Men (Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015) – Riders start a challenging, technical and inner-city circuit at the Convention Center and head to Monument Avenue, ultimately turning around at the Jefferson Davis Monument and heading through Virginia Commonwealth University. At the circuit midpoint, racers will maneuver the cobblestone streets of Shockoe Slip and follow the canal to Great Shiplock Park, the start of the Virginia Capital Trail, a 50-mile pedestrian trail to Williamsburg to be completed by September 2015. From Rocketts Landing, riders face a twisty, cobbled 250-meter climb up Libby Hill, a view that influenced William Byrd II to name the city Richmond based on similarities to Richmond upon Thames. Another 110-meter climb of 23rd Street awaits before the racers speed through Shockoe Bottom and finish with a climb of Governor Street and dash down Broad Street.
I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?