The route of the World Cycling Championships road race is characterized by three sections. Following the start in Leeds, the riders race 185 kilometres on a route that mimics the Tour de France Grand Départ stage from 2014. With approximately 100 kilometres remaining the route continues onto tough and technical circuit in and around Harrogate. The 14 kilometres lap is repeated seven times.
The 185 kilometres run-in to the Harrogate circuit features three uphills. The Cray is 6.6 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 1.3%, which is perfect to stretch the legs. Up next is the Buttertubs, 6 kilometres at 2.5%, before Grinton Moor is the longest and hardest climb of the day: 4.4 kilometres at 5.3%.
The testing 14 kilometres circuit takes in three ascents. Otley Road runs uphill for 1.6 kilometres at 3.4%, while the Pot Bank ascent is 600 metres at 3.5%. The last climb on Penny Pot Lane is probably going to be decisive in the finale. It is a steep pull up of 1 kilometres at 6% with some double digit sections in the first half.
It must be a versatile rider who’ll win the road race at the Worlds in Yorkshire. Obviously, climbing legs are desperately needed on the trying course with 24 climbs, but given the moderate length of the uphills a sprint of a select group is a likely outcome. So fast legs will come in handy, too. The names of Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews, Mathieu van der Poel and Julian Alaphilippe spring to mind.
At Cyclingstage.com, we think those four riders are the top contenders to win the race. Yet, the start list features a host of stellar names and it’s clear that the likes of Greg Van Avermaet, Philippe Gilbert, Jakob Fuglsang and Primoz Roglic are riders to watch as well. Probably, you have an opinion on the new World Champion yourself. If so, feel free to share it on UCI Road World Championships cycling betting.
A new rainbow jersey for Peter Sagan would be very special indeed. The Slovak won three consecutive road race world titles in the years 2015-2016-2017, which is a record. A fourth title would make the ‘Special One’ of cycling even more special: no rider did win four world titles on the road. The Yorkshire parcours definitely suits his talents, so a fourth world title for the Slovak phenomenon is far from impossible.