The start of the World Championships road race is in Winterthur and it opens with a northerly loop, containing the moderate climb up the Wolschberg to Buch am Irchel. Shortly after moving through the starting venue again the first main obstacle is something else entirely. It’s the short but verocious kick up to Kyburg – 1.2 kilometres long and averaging 12%.
The route continues to Illnau, Volketswil and Maur before ascending Binz. The climb is 4.6 kilometres long and averaging 4.5%, while the riders enter the finishing circuit at the top. A little over 6 kilometres later an uphill kick on the densely forested Schmalzgruebstrasse precedes the downhill to Lake Zurich. Along the shores the riders head north to tackle the first of seven laps after 90 kilometres of action.
Approximately 2 kilometres after crossing the finish line – and some twisting and turning in the city centre -, the Zürichbergstrasse gives a first taste of what the finale has to offer. It slopes for 800 metres at 8.6% and peaks out at 15.9% near the end. A virtually flat section of 1.5 kilometres then leads onto a false flat preceding the next challenge. The hardest part of the ascent on the Witikonerstrasse stretches 1 kilometre with an average gradient of 8%, but as it begins and ends with a false flat one could also argue that it’s a 4.1 kilometres climb at 3.8%.
For about 10 kilometres, the circuit stays at a rolling plateau at an elevation hovering between 600 and 650 metres. A number of small uphill punches – such as the aforementioned Schmalzgruebstrasse (300 metres at 8%) – pep up this section before the riders fly down to Küsnacht. A false flat section of 1.5 kilometres precedes the passage through Zollikon and upon reaching the lake the route continues along the flat shores back to Zürich.
Each lap features 409 metres of climbing, while the last uphill kick on the Schmalzgruebstrasse appears just inside the last 10 kilometres.
World Cycling Championships 2024, road race men: route, profile, video
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