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Who has won the cycling world championships in their home country?

With Wout van Aert and Lotte Kopecky huge favourites to win at the cycling World Championships in Flanders this year, just how common is a home victor? The men’s road race has the longest history and there’s only been 12 home winners. The last of which was Alessandro Ballan back in 2008. That’s the only time it has happened in the last 40 years. You don’t have to go back as far for the men’s time trial, with Filippo Ganna winning in Imola just last year.

On the women’s side, there has been a home road race champion 7 times. Marianne Vos is the most recent in the 2012 world championships in Valkenburg. When it comes to the time trial, you have to go back to Hanka Kupfernagel’s 2007 win in Stuttgart.

History is on the side of a joint-Belgian victory too. The 1963 world championships in Ronse saw Benoni Beheyt and Yvonne Reynders both win on home roads. A feat repeated in Valkenburg in 1979 with Jan Raas and Petra de Bruijn for the Netherlands.

Men’s World Championship Road Race Winners

YearHost CityWinnerNationality
1932RomeAlfredo BindaItalian
1933MontlhéryGeorges SpecicherFrench
1935FloreffeJean AertsBelgian
1946ZürichHans KnechtSwiss
1950MoorsledeBriek SchotteBelgian
1957WaregemRik van SteenbergenBelgian
1963RonseBenoni BeheytBelgian
1966NürburgringRudi AltigGerman
1968ImolaVittorio AdorniItalian
1979ValkenburgJan RaasDutch
1980SallanchesBernard HinaultFrench
2008VareseAlessandro BallanItalian

Men’s World Championship Time Trial Winners

YearHost CityWinnerNationality
1996LuganoAlex ZülleSwiss
2009MendrisioFabian CancellaraSwiss
2020ImolaFilippo GannaItalian

Women’s World Championship Road Race Winners

YearHost CityWinnerNationality
1963RonseYvonne ReyndersBelgian
1972GapGeneviève GambillonFrench
1979ValkenburgPetra de BruijnDutch
1982GoodwoodMandy JonesBritish
1989ChambéryJeannie LongoFrench
1996LuganoBarbara HeebSwiss
2012ValkenburgMarianne VosDutch

Women’s World Championship Time Trial Winners

YearHost CityWinnerNationality
1998ValkenburgLeontien Zijlaard-Van MoorselDutch
2007StuttgartHanka KupfernagelGerman