Cycling news - 2018 Road Cycling World Championships in Innsbruck: dates, route, TV, favourites
The 2018 Road Cycling World Championships begins in Innsbruck on Sunday. Here's everything you need to know about the week-long festival of cycling.
World Championships Schedule
- Tuesday September 25 – Hall-Wattens to Innsbruck, 28.5km – Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial
- Tuesday September 25 – Hall-Wattens to Innsbruck, 28.5km – Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial
- Wednesday September 26 – Alpbachtal Seenland – Innsbruck, 54.2km – Men’s Elite Individual Time Trial
- Thursday September 27 – Alpbachtal Seenland – Innsbruck, 72.4km – Women’s Junior Road Race
- Thursday September 27 – Kufstein – Innsbruck, 138.4km – Men’s Junior Road Race
- Friday September 28 – Kufstein – Innsbruck, 186.2km – Men’s Under 23 Road Race
- Saturday September 29 – Kufstein – Innsbruck, 162.3km – Women’s Elite Road Race
- Sunday September 30 – Kufstein – Innsbruck, 265km – Men’s Elite Road Race
Men's Road Race
The men’s race will start in the town of Kufstein, with seven laps of 24km of the ‘Olympic Circuit’ before heading northwards towards the Hungerburg settlement where they’ll hit a climb featuring 25 per cent sections, then towards the finish in the centre of Innsbruck.
It goes without saying that all the bookies' favourites are suited to going well up hill, and Peter Sagan will be looking to win a record-breaking fourth in a row in the men’s road race.
Spain's Alejandro Valverde will fancy his chances after flying until the last mountain stages in La Vuelta. The Spaniard fell short of making the podium, but the 38-year-old's two stage wins will give him confidence.
Women's Road Race
The elite women’s race also starts in Kufstein, but opens with a 90km run towards the Olympic Circuit in Innsbruck which they will cover three times for a race distance of 156.2km.
Dutch powerhouses Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten will both fancy their chances of winning the women's event. Amanda Spratt eclipsed the pair in Emakumeen Bira, a four-day stage race in the Basque Country, and the Australian shouldn't be counted against here.
Individual Time Trial
The men’s individual time trial is on a 52.5km course beginning in Rattenberg and covering a 4.4km climb that reaches a maximum pitch of 14 per cent before a westward route towards the finish line in Innsbruck.
All the other time trials will start closer to Innsbruck - in Hall-Wattens with the elite women, male juniors and U23s covering 28.5km, with the junior women riding a course of 20.2km.
In the men's individual time trial, it's hard to look beyond the reigning world champion Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands and odds of 3/4 back that up, but Australia's Rohan Dennis has a sniff after his impressive two stage solo wins at the Vuelta. Belarus' Vasil Kiryienka (25/1), Tony Martin of Germany (28/1) and Italy's Gianni Moscon (33/1) will be in contention.
In the women's event, Van Vleuten is a clear favourite having won the event in Bergen last year, but Van der Breggen will again be the most likely rider standing in her way. Lucinda Brand outclassed Van Vleuten at the National Championships while Ellen van Dijk outperformed Van der Breggen at the European Championships in Glasgow, so both should be in the mix.
Where can I watch it?
- Tuesday September 25 - Junior men and women’s time trial, Eurosport 1: 09:00-12:00, 13:30-16:45
- Wednesday September 26 - Men’s time trial – Eurosport 1: 13:00-16:30
- Thursday September 27 - Junior men and women’s road race – Eurosport 1, 08:00-10:30, 13:30-17:45
- Friday September 28 - Under-23 men’s road race – Eurosport 1, 12:15-16:15
- Saturday, 29 September - Women’s road race – Eurosport Player, 11:10
- Sunday, 30 September - Men’s road race – Eurosport Player, 08:40
What happened last year?
Peter Sagan (Slovakia) and Chantal Blaak (Netherlands) became the UCI World Champions of 2017 in Norway - Sagan winning his third in a row, Blaak winning her maiden title.
The time trial titles went to a Dutch pair - Tom Dumoulin and Annemiek van Vleuten - while Team Sunweb took both team time trial titles.
Where will the Worlds be held in 2019?