This past Saturday the Times-Dispatch’s Randy Hallman reported that an official from the UCI was in town to inspect the possible courses for the 2015 World Cycling Championships.
Wrote Hallman: “(Matthew) Knight arrived Friday to inspect the courses — yet to be revealed to the public — that have been mapped out in Richmond and the counties of Henrico and Hanover by Richmond 2015, the nonprofit organization responsible for organizing, managing and promoting the racing event. The championships will be held here in September 2015.”
On Monday I gave Lee Kallman, head of marketing for Richmond 2015, a call to find out a little more. He said Knight spent the time “driving the courses, getting out, walking around and checking it out in more detail.
“The wasn’t a lot of concern over any of the courses themselves,” Kallman added. “We might make a few tweaks here and there over the distance of some of the courses. Then its looking at things that relate to rider safety.”
For Richmond 2015, the preparations for the races (12 over nine days) have three prongs: “the competition element, the impact element, and that tourism piece — where we want the race to go through parts of the area we want to showcase to the world.”
“From UCI perspective, that competition element is probably most important. And rider safety and just putting on a great race that showcases the sport.”
Kallman said that the UCI should produce their final report on the courses in the next couple of weeks, and Richmond 2015 hopes to announce those to the public six to eight weeks after that, though it could be sooner.
“I want to make sure we’re prepared,” he said. “We have maps right now that are very functional looking. I want some stuff that looks good. Maps that people can really look at and see exactly where the race is going to go. We want local residents to know that on this day, the race is going to come down their street. Nearly two years out, they can start planning and organizing.We want to be able to talk about the impact this will have.
“Also there’s a lot of people that are waiting to see the courses to plan their trip to Richmond.”
The event will feature 12 championship races for Elite Men and Women, Under 23 Men and Junior Men and Women.
There are separate courses for the team time trial for pro men and women; an individual time trial for junior boys and girls, pro women and under 23 men; an individual time trial course for pro men; and the road race for pro men and women.
It is expected to bring 1,500 athletes and 450,000 spectators to the Richmond region. The race has a projected $150 million economic impact, will bring 450,000 spectators, 400 hours of live, global television coverage, 500 global media outlets and a predicted 300 million TV viewers, according to figures from Richmond 2015.