In a recent announcement, the routes for the 2024 UCI Road World Championships, set to take place from September 21 to 29 around Lake Zurich in Switzerland, were revealed. This prestigious event is set to challenge both male and female cyclists with demanding courses articulated through the Alpine foothills.
The final loop of the route, measuring 27 km, incorporates two significant climbs for both men and women immediately after crossing the start line. The Zürichbergstrasse, a 1.1 km climb averaging 8% and peaking at a gruelling 15% in its latter section, will be the first obstacle. This will be followed by the ascent of Witikon, stretching 2.3 km with an average gradient of 5.7% and sections reaching 9%. Cyclists will have a brief respite in between the two challenges with a minor descent of 1.5 km.
Female cyclists will navigate the loop four times, culminating in a total distance of 154.1 km, while their male counterparts will tackle it seven times, amounting to a formidable 273.9 km. The courses promise a substantial challenge, featuring 2,488 m of elevation gain for the women’s race and 4,470 m for the men’s. Despite this, the routes will not reach the dizzying heights witnessed at the Innsbruck championships in 2018.
Moreover, the route for the men’s time trial will commence from the historic Oerlikon outdoor velodrome, which hosted seven editions of the Track Cycling World Championships between 1923 and 1983. The time trial will stretch over 46.1 km, with a slightly undulating middle section before reaching the shores of Lake Zurich. The women’s time trial will embark from Gossau and cover a relatively similar profile, albeit over a shorter distance of 29.9 km.
The 2024 UCI Road World Championships promise to be a mix of historical cycling venues and challenging routes that will certainly test the stamina and skills of the world’s best riders. As cyclists and fans alike anticipate this event, the detailed route maps provide a glimpse into the strategic planning that will be required to claim victory in the scenic yet demanding Swiss landscape. There’s the potential for both of 2023’s World Champions Lotte Kopecky and Mathieu van der Poel to maybe think about retaining their titles but that is always a tough ask.