The 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships presented by Tissot in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, are underway this week and host region, Gelderland, is maximising the event’s impact on cycling in all forms.
Awarded UCI Bike Region status in 2017, Gelderland enjoys a reputation as a place for accessible and enjoyable cycling.
Ahead of the UCI Track Worlds, the province organised a variety of activities to give children and adults alike a taste of track cycling and other sports. Under the ‘Road to Apeldoorn’ programme - initiated in October 2017 - elite and everyday cycling activities have come together in anticipation of the UCI World Championships. On 5 October, the kick-off event saw Dutch track cyclists compete against each other through Apeldoorn’s main street, giving local shoppers and spectators a close-up taste of elite racing. Meanwhile, children had the opportunity to take part in races on the same city-centre course, closed to traffic.
During February, a Talents in the Classroom programme saw ten local schools receive a visit from a professional track cyclist. Students had the opportunity to ask the cyclist questions then take part in a bicycle clinic.
During the Track Worlds, a daily Omnisport Experience Area will be organised at the venue, Omnisport Apeldoorn. This area will feature medal ceremonies, ‘meet and greets’ with various riders, autograph sessions, and press conferences giving visitors the chance to ask questions. There will be 13 different sporting activities for the public to take part in. On each day a ‘Become the best sportsmen/ sportswomen’ activity will be held for visitors of all ages. There will be 11 activities, with the two highest scoring participants winning tickets for a future sporting event.
With the promotion of sports amongst disabled people a priority in 2018, activities will be open to those with disabilities.
Gelderland’s credentials as a cycling for all region are well established, and the province has wider ambitions to grow cycling in all forms. Future elite-level cycling events will fit into wider efforts to inspire and promote participation in cycling.
Today, infrastructure for cycling across the region is substantial. Cycle paths can be found along 90% of the province’s roads, and 40km of dedicated fast cycle tracks criss-cross the region. A further 100km are in the pipeline - enabling fast journeys by bike between cities. The quality of the region’s infrastructure was recognised in 2017 when Gelderland received the maximum five out of five stars rating by the Dutch National Cycling Platform.
Meanwhile, the bicycle tourism network spans 6000 kilometres, enabling visitors and locals to easily explore this beautiful region on two wheels. Off road, 15 main mountain biking trails take riders on a voyage of discovery.
With 50 cycling clubs in the region, over 90,000 Gelderland citizens choose cycling as their main sport, and each year 150 cycling events are hosted in the region.
More information on UCI Bike Region Gelderland can be found here.