Stirling will provide the stage for some of the world’s best cyclists after being announced as the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships time trial venue as part of the biggest cycling event ever held.
The historic city and surrounding area is the 7th location to be announced as a host of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland from 3-13 August 2023.
The 11-day inaugural event will create cycling history by combining 13 existing UCI World Championships into one mega-event for the first time, creating one of the world’s top 10 sporting events.
Stirlingshire relationship to the Scottish cycling community over the years has been very beneficial, with this year's Scottish National Road Race Championships taking place on roads surronding Balfron on the 30th and 31st July. The city itself has previosuly held Scottish National Criterium Championships via the Crit Under the Castle event organised by Stirling Bike Club.
Stirling’s iconic landscape will provide a fitting backdrop, with the city also having held the opening time trial as part of the inaugural PruTour in 1998, won by cycling legend Chris Boardman.
To celebrate the return of world-class cycling to Stirling, Boardman revisited the scene of his triumph 24 years on alongside current Team GB time trial athlete Anna Shackley.
Scottish rider Shackley was born just 30 miles from Stirling and made her Olympic debut in the time trial in Tokyo in 2021 as part of Team GB. Shackley knows Stirling very well having also raced on its streets at the old Crit under the Castle event as a Youth. She added:
“Competing in the Olympics gave me a real taste for international competition at the highest level and made me determined to make the team for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. Combining the Championships for the first time ever will be absolutely huge and a really positive step for the sport of cycling. I’m proud that they will be held in Glasgow and across Scotland for the first time and it would be a huge honour for me to compete in front of a home crowd.”
Boardman, who won an Olympic gold medal in 1992 and is now a policy adviser at British Cycling as well The Commissioner of Active Travel England, said:
“I’m thrilled Stirling will host the time trial as part of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. I have great memories of winning the time trial stage of the PruTour when it was here. The castle is a spectacular backdrop that adds drama and showcases the heritage of the region. It is the perfect stage for an extra special World Championship that brings together so many disciplines for the first time.
As well as this historic setting for a historic event, I hope the UCI 2023 World Championships will give us a platform to remind people what a wonderful machine the bicycle is for simply getting to shops schools and workplaces under our own steam. Be it entertainment or utility, bikes make our lives better!”
Paul Bush, Chair of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, said:
“I am delighted to confirm Stirling as our second location outside of Glasgow to host the inaugural 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, further showcasing this as a truly pan-Scotland mega event. In Glasgow and across Scotland we have proven ourselves as world-class hosts of major events. We are incredibly proud the UCI has entrusted us with hosting the first ever UCI Cycling World Championships and to play our role in creating cycling history. We want the whole of Scotland to get behind the Championships and I have no doubt that by utilising iconic locations such as Stirling we will capture the imagination of not only people across Scotland but globally.”
Stirling’s involvement in the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will give a major boost to its bid to become UK City of Culture, showcasing the city and the region to a global audience.
Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Scott Farmer said: “It’s a massive win for Stirling to see this great sporting spectacle coming to our streets. I am sure that local communities will embrace the event and line the course to support the cyclists.
“Not only will it continue to establish Stirling as a world-class events destination, it’ll once again provide inspiration for people of all ages and abilities to get active and live healthier lifestyles. We can all be inspired by watching world class athletes in action, on our very doorsteps, to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities available in Stirling to be active, participate in sport and live well.”
Depute Leader, Councillor Chris Kane, said: “As one of the host venues for the biggest cycling event ever held, this feast of sporting action will deliver a significant economic and tourism boost for Stirling, allowing us to showcase the area to a world-wide audience as a must-visit destination.
“Stirling Council is aiming to change lives through sport, physical activity and healthy living by making Stirling one of the best places to be active in Scotland. We have made a commitment to support access to physical activity and sport for everyone, changing people’s lives for the better, and this event will demonstrate how cycling can be a fun and accessible way to improve your health.”