Scotland to host road worlds? (maybe)

That British Cycling may table a bid to host the World Road Championships is not a surprise- British cycling (with a small ‘c’) is booming and with the Olympics in 2012 there will be the experience and enthusiasm of a major event to draw on.

British Cycling president Brian Cookson spoke about this to various media in October 2011, including the BBC and VeloUK- each piece was largley the same. But I heard a quote on the Velo Club Don Logan podcast that caught my attention and I found it in writing in a Cycling Weekly piece:

Cookson, who was recently made head of the UCI Road Commission, mentioned Wales, Scotland and London as potential places.

Road Cycling World Championships

Let’s not get carried away here- GB hasn’t even tabled a bit, let alone confirmed Scotland as a venue. Actually, no, let’s get carried away! The last time I did this was when I heard that Scotland might bid to host the first few stages of the Tour in 2017. Much fun was had drawing up a potential prologue route.

2016 is the earliest Great Britain could bid for the worlds, with 2015 having already been allocated to Richmond in the USA. The idea seems to be to build a bid around giving Cavendish the opportunity to win the worlds on home soil before he retires.

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
We will have established a one-day championsip race route for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games so there will be expertise gained there. Colin Clews, a UCI technical delegate (not the sometime VCDL podcaster) has visited Glasgow and the potential road routes.

The potential course options for the Road Cycling and Time Trial that will provide an ideal opportunity to show case the city and will allow spectators to watch some of the fastest cyclists in the world. Elsewhere on the Glasgow 2014 site, it is mentioned that Road Race and Time Trial events will hit the open roads of Glasgow, using specific road circuit courses. Which may disappoint cycling purists who had been hoping for a picturesque, challenging route around the Trossachs. The Games are always a showcase for a host city, and events are designed to appeal to a broad popular audience, which is itself good for cycling, but I must admit, a city centre crit doesn’t hold a huge appeal. Maybe a spring classic style route taking in some cobbles, and Gardner Street might provide excitement?

Premier Calendar in Ayrshire
In the South-West the Ayshire and Dumfries & Galloway areas, the Premier Calendar Tour Doonhame stage race is now well established, and is largest multi-day race in the UK, after the Tour of Britain. Although it’s not on the doorstep of well-populated areas (meaning more of a trek for fans), the roads and terrain are good for top level racing.

Tour Doonhame 2011
Tour Doonhame 2011

The Breakaway
Boassen Hagen on the Mennock Pass, Tour of Britain 2008

Tour of Britain- Ayrshire and the Borders
The Tour of Britain is the UK’s only UCI race and has visited Ayrshire numerous times, having raced from Glasgow to Dumfries, Glasgow to Drumlanrig Castle and Peebles to Gretna in the past.

Peebles has hosted the start of a Tour of Britain stage twice in recent years, including the Grand Depart last year. The Borders council has clearly invested in bringing cycling to the area, building on the success of the world-class trail centres at Glentress and Innerliethen. Alongwith the Tweedlove cycling festival and the town centre crits there is certainly the will, and maybe they are the ones to provide some of the backing required to bring the Worlds to Scotland.

The break in Galashiels
Tour of Britain 2009 in Galashiels

-what do you think?
-potential Worlds routes in Scotland?
-where would be best?