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Cobbles await 2015 UCI Road World Championships hopefuls as organisers reveal circuit

Richmond event organisers confirm road race circuit but race length yet to be decided

Cobbles await the riders who will compete for the rainbow jersey in Richmond at the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, but organisers are yet to decide on the length of the course for the event.

The circuit to be used for the elite road races around the streets of the American city has been revealed, with a tricky, technical course which includes a pavé-lined, historic boulevard and a partially cobbled ascent – with ramps of up to 20 per cent.

Rui Costa celebrates on the podium after winning the 2013 men’s road race. The Portuguese ace will have to tackle the Richmond cobbles if he is to be successful in 2015 (Pic: Sirotti)

Tim Miller, chief operating officer of Richmond 2015, said: “Today’s announcement of the courses signify an important milestone – our vision for cycling’s premier event is being realised.

“We think the courses will have touches that resonate with cyclists from around the world, from Belgian climbs to the cobblestones in of northern Europe.

“We considered three main factors when designing the courses for these pre-eminent cycling events: competitive and technical aspects of the courses, the best of the Richmond region and the overall impact on the local residents and businesses.”

Setting out from downtown Richmond, the 15.6km circuit heads west towards the historic Monument Avenue before taking a 180-degree turn at the Jefferson Davis monument before moving into the uptown district.

Having passed through Virginia Commonwealth University, the race will then head down the cobblestones of Shockoe Slip, past the canal and passing Great Shiplock Park at the start of the Virginia Capital Trail.

A sharp, off-camber turn takes the riders on to the twisting, cobbled 250-metre climb up to Libby Hill Park. A sharp, technical descent is then followed by the 110-metre climb up 23rd Street.

Following the descent into Shockoe Bottom, it then leads to a final 350m climb up Governor Street before a 680m false flat to the finish.

Organisers hope the partially cobbled route will attract fans of Belgium’s Classics

In total, the route contains 238m of elevation per circuit with organisers to confirm the total number of laps for the elite men’s and women’s races. A slightly modified route awaits the under-23 men and junior races, with the ascent of 23rd Street not included.

UCI president Brian Cookson said: “Richmond is on track and well-prepared for the 2015 Worlds. I am encouraged by the tremendous strides that have been made and the ongoing vision into making the UCI Road World Championships a very memorable event.

“I commend Richmond 2015 and the City of Richmond and surrounding counties for their commitment to what no doubt will be challenging, exciting and scenic courses for the world’s best cyclists.”

The routes of the time trials have also been revealed, with the junior men, under-23s, junior women and elite women facing a similar start to the elite road race with a single climb of Governor Street en-route.

A 33-mile course waits for the men’s individual time trial, starting in Hanover County at the Kings Dominion amusement park, before passing through Meadow Event Park. Also passing through Hanover Courthouse and Virginia Union University the race then finishes with the same climb of Governor Street and down into Broad Street.

For more information on the routes and where to watch in 2015 visit www.richmond2015.com.

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