Cycling World Championships

By Ojas Joshi

Recently, the 101st rendition of the inaugural UCI Road World Cycling Championships took place in Wollongong, Australia. Stretching from September 17 – 25, these cycling championships featured events such as team time trials, U-23 road races, and the classic marquee events, the men’s and women’s elite road races. In this article, I will be covering the men’s and women’s champions, analyzing their races, and predicting their future in the rainbow jersey (the jersey worn all year long by the current world champion).

In the women’s race on September 24 Annemiek Van Vleuten of The Netherlands took first place, racing with a broken elbow suffered earlier in the week at the team time trial event. Van Vleuten showed great courage and form, attacking perfectly within the last kilometer to hold off Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky and Italy’s Silvia Persico by one second. Throughout the race, Van Vleuten’s chances at the title seemed to ebb and flow, as she was repeatedly dropped by the peloton (the main pack of riders), causing her to furiously pedal her way back to the front. Within the closing circuits, Van Vleuten looked like she had missed the jump, as a strong 5 rider breakaway left the peloton aiming for gold. Once again, Van Vleuten showed tremendous determination to claw her way back to the front, flying past the riders to cross the finish line world champion. This next season will be the 39 year old Van Vleuten’s last as a professional rider, going out with a bang in the rainbow jersey.

In the men’s race, the last race of the week on September 25, the 22 year old Belgian Sensation Remco Evenpoel took gold, crossing the finish line well clean of any competition after having ridden a brilliant race. Remco rode the last 25km by himself, dropping everyone else, and riding his own race against the clock to the finish. Just another trophy to his growing collection, Evenepoel looks primed to dominate the cycling world for the foreseeable future. The winner of this year’s Vuelta, and third in the world champion time trial, Evenepoel will be a contender in any race over the coming years. Moreover, next year’s Tour de France will feature a star studded lineup, as rising star Evenpoel will tackle the tour for the first time alongside reigning champion Jonas Vingegaard and superstar Tadej Pogacar. Expect the upcoming cycling season to feature many strong, fast races, with Evenepoel always in the mix.