[Source: 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships] The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships have been declared a huge success after a preliminary estimate of 1 million spectators turned out to watch the festival of cycling, while millions more tuned in around the world to see the 11 days of cycling action taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland.
The final event of the programme, the Women Elite Road Race, brought the curtain down on the inaugural event that has seen 13 UCI World Championships combined into one mega event for the first time ever.
Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky claimed the top spot following a thrilling finish to the race that saw tens of thousands line the route between Balloch and Glasgow. It was the first time the women’s elite road race has closed a UCI World Championship, with 207 riders (including Women Under 23) taking on the 154.1km course. This is up on the 129 riders that took to the start line at the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia.
A total of 653 medals were awarded and 220 UCI Rainbow jerseys races have been raced as fans of all ages flocked to venues across the country to witness cycling history being made, with sold out crowds at events across the programme. Additionally, spectators lined roads, ramps, and routes at locations including Glasgow Green, Stirling, Edinburgh, Perth and Kinross, Dundee, Angus, Fife, Falkirk, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, and Dumfries and Galloway, to cheer on riders at free events up and down the country.
Across all competitions, almost 8,000 elite and amateur athletes took part with Great Britain topping both the cycling and para-cycling medal table with 56 and 44 medals, respectively. A full list of 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships medal winners and results is available here.
Such numbers demonstrate how the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships have undoubtedly inspired new fans of the sport and created new experiences for thousands of spectators at home and abroad. In addition, EY (Ernst & Young) have been commissioned to conduct a qualitative social and economic impact assessment for the event to detail the value that it has brought to Scotland.
The delivery of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships would not have been possible without the support of the 4,000 volunteers who have supported in key roles across every venue, from making sure spectators have the best experience possible, to assisting with media operations and supporting elite cyclists.
UCI President David Lappartient said: “The inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships have taken our sport to new heights. The 13 UCI World Championships that took place in Glasgow and across Scotland united all members of the wide cycling family, bringing together different disciplines, an unprecedented number of nations and a record number of television viewers worldwide. The fantastic welcome from Scotland and the excellent organisation created a clear benchmark for future editions of this magnificent cycling show, that will take place every four years, before the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Paul Bush OBE, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Chair, said: “The 2023 Cycling World Championships have brought together around 8000 athletes from over 130 countries, in what has been an unprecedented celebration of cycling.
“It is testament to Scotland's reputation as a world leading events destination that we were handed this opportunity by the UCI, and I just want to thank everyone who has played a role, from our funding partners to our host regions, the athletes, the spectators and of course the volunteers. Everyone has contributed to a memorable event that has further boosted the nation's reputation as a major event destination.
“Our host venues have thrived, making history in staging world class sporting events and welcoming thousands of visitors over the course of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. Signing off with huge crowds of spectators lining the streets of Glasgow to watch the women's elite road race has been very special, providing a fitting finale to an event which has inspired new fans of the sport and showcased Scotland in the best light to the millions watching around the world.”
Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: “I would like to thank all the athletes, volunteers, and staff, including those from the emergency services and other partner organisations, who played such important roles in delivering this unique and hugely successful event which showed Glasgow and Scotland at their very best.
“I am immensely proud of how the UCI Cycling World Championships showcased our welcoming and inclusive country and have been delighted to see the huge crowds turning out to watch the action. The Championships have undoubtedly been yet another vote of confidence in Scotland as a destination of choice for staging major global events.
“We will work now to ensure this event leaves a lasting legacy that benefits our economy and environment, and that inspires people from all walks of life to be more active and healthier through the power of the bike.”
A great events city
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Susan Aitken said: “From the first race to the last; riders, fans and officials have been telling us that 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will go down in history as not only the biggest, but one of the greatest ever held.
“The UCI approached Glasgow to pioneer this new ‘super’ UCI World Championships because they understood what a great events city this is; what an amazing passion for sport it has – and they knew we were the safest pair of safe hands when it came to making it all work.
“The faith they showed in Glasgow to host a truly global event was remarkable and I’m delighted the city has been able to repay that faith so emphatically – surpassing their expectations and even our own.
“The sport has been fiercely competitive, with racers needing to be at the very peak of their powers to be in contention for medals – and it has drawn huge audiences, on the road, in venues and across the world on television.
“There is nowhere quite like Glasgow when it comes to creating an atmosphere and people who are ready to throw themselves into an event, heart, and soul.
“One of the big themes of this event has been ‘The Power of the Bike’ – and I think these UCI Worlds have also resonated because they have given people an opportunity to rethink their ambitions for what our city can be.
“For Glasgow, the last eleven days have demonstrated that The Power of the Bike is making an already great city more vibrant and healthier; accessible, active and connected.”
Esther Britten, Head of Major Events at UK Sport said: “The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships has been a wonderful showcase for why the UK hosts brilliant major sporting events. Over the past 11 days of competition, we’ve seen some incredible performances, including from a British team who have turned out numerous extraordinary sporting moments, all against a backdrop of passionate and knowledgeable fans who have created a fantastic atmosphere at all the venues.
“Bringing events like the UCI Cycling World Championships to British shores is only made possible through the support of The National Lottery, so we owe a big thank you to everyone who buys a lottery ticket.”
British Cycling CEO, Jon Dutton, said: “Like so many people I leave the UCI Cycling World Championships feeling incredibly proud of our British riders, whose bold, brave, and brilliant performances have taken this event into the hearts and homes of fans across the country.
“New stars have been born, our household names have delivered in spades, and we now have an amazing opportunity to harness all of that inspiration to ensure that more people ride, race and enjoy our sport in the future.”