Richmond 2015 unveils courses

2/25/2014, 3:26 p.m.
Some of Central Virginia’s most iconic views – from Monument Avenue to Libby Hill – will be on display for ...

The United States will serve as the host country for the first time since 1986, when Colorado Springs, Colo., staged the event.

“I can’t overstate the importance of this event to the future of American cycling,” said Steve Johnson, president and CEO of USA Cycling. “Cycling, both as a sport and recreation, has grown tremendously in the U.S. during the past decade. The hosting of this event in Richmond is validation of that growth. Our riders are excited for the opportunity to welcome the world’s best cyclists to the United States.”

Four courses comprise the UCI Road World Championships (visit www.richmond2015/courses for maps and complete schedule):

Team Time Trial – Men’s and Women’s (Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015) – Teams depart Rocketts Landing in Henrico County, where Christopher Newport explored the James River in 1607, and head east on Route 5 before winding through Richmond National Battlefield Park, a historic Civil War site. The race enters the City of Richmond in Shockoe Bottom and finishes with a 350-meter-long climb of Governor Street next to the Virginia State Capital and dash down Broad Street to the Convention Center.

Individual Time Trial Circuit – Junior Men and U23 (Monday, Sept. 21, 2015); Junior Women and Elite Women (Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015) – Racers depart the Convention Center and head to Monument Avenue, a historic boulevard named one of the “10 great streets in the U.S.” by the American Planning Association. A 180-degree turn at the Jefferson Davis monument returns riders toward downtown, where they will speed through Virginia Commonwealth University and cross the James River before finishing with the climb of Governor Street and dash down Broad Street.

Elite Men’s Individual Time Trial – 33 miles (Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015) – Racers begin their “Race of Truth” in Hanover County at Kings Dominion, Virginia’s premier amusement park, and move past Meadow Event Park, birthplace of thoroughbred racing legend Secretariat. Riders will pass the Hanover Courthouse, the third oldest courthouse still in use in the United States, en route to the City of Richmond via Chamberlayne Road and pass through Virginia Union University before finishing with the climb of Governor Street and dash down Broad Street.

Road Circuit – Junior Women and U23 Men (Friday, Sept. 25, 2015); Junior Men and Elite Women (Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015); Elite Men (Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015) – Riders start a challenging, technical and inner-city circuit at the Convention Center and head to Monument Avenue, ultimately turning around at the Jefferson Davis Monument and heading through Virginia Commonwealth University. At the circuit midpoint, racers will maneuver the cobblestone streets of Shockoe Slip and follow the canal to Great Shiplock Park, the start of the Virginia Capital Trail, a 50-mile pedestrian trail to Williamsburg to be completed by September 2015. From Rocketts Landing, riders face a twisty, cobbled 250-meter climb up Libby Hill, a view that influenced William Byrd II to name the city Richmond based on similarities to Richmond upon Thames. Another 110-meter climb of 23rd Street awaits before the racers speed through Shockoe Bottom and finish with a climb of Governor Street and dash down Broad Street.

“Today’s announcement of the courses signify an important milestone: Our vision for cycling’s premier event is being realized,” said Miller, of Richmond 2015. “We think the courses will have touches that resonate with cyclists from around the world, from Belgian climbs to the cobblestones in of Northern Europe.”

Beginning next week, Richmond 2015 will launch a series of “Prologue” events around the region to engage neighborhoods and communities about the details of both Championship events. The Prologue events are intended to inform, engage and excite cycling enthusiasts in these communities so they can effectively plan any necessary transportation alternatives during the event and how to maximize the events’ proximity, by planning viewing events and parties along the courses.