Globe Riders: Six months to go and counting until the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships

Exactly six months from now!

Exactly six months from now, on 3 August, the biggest, widest-reaching and most ambitious cycling event ever staged will get under way. Our Globe Riders series focuses on preparations for this event taking place in Glasgow and across Scotland (Great Britain).

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will bring together 13 UCI World Championships over 11 days of non-stop competition that will crown more than 190 UCI World Champions. Scotland is getting ready to welcome in excess of 1 million spectators, while a global TV audience of more than one billion is expected to make it one of the Top 10 watched sporting events on the planet.

Deciding to organise such an event - which will be held every four years, the year before the Summer Olympics and Paralympics - could be seen by some as a crazy challenge. But as it nears its fruition, we talk to two people who always knew that it would be the start of something huge for cycling, its athletes, its fans, and its hosts.

Professionalism mixed with a sense of adventure

The UCI Cycling World Championships were the brainchild of the President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) David Lappartient, who was already nurturing the idea when he was elected UCI President in 2017: “It had been in a corner of my mind for some time. I really wanted to find a way to bring the entire cycling family together at the same time and in one venue. That idea took hold, it grew, it became a vision, then an objective, then a concrete project and here we are! I’ve made that sound simple but it’s the result of a great deal of work from an enormous number of people and organisations.

“For this inaugural edition, we were looking for a host with experience, professionalism, commitment, positivity, determination and a sense of adventure!”

That is where Paul Bush, OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, comes into the equation.His team first heard about the concept when David Lappartient was elected to the head of the UCI over five years ago.

“Our initial reaction was excitement to learn more about how this concept could be brought to life here in Scotland,” says Paul Bush, who is Chair of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. “We knew an event of this size and scale was absolutely the right fit for Scotland and something we were really keen to secure as our next mega event.”

Both men describe their feelings as they embark on the final run-in to the much-awaited cycling event:

We are now six months from the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships: What are your feelings?

David Lappartient (DL):Excitement. When I woke up on 1st January, I said to myself “This is it! It’s 2023. The year we will make history for cycling.”

Accomplishment. That may sound premature, but it is not. So much has already been achieved to get to where we are now.

Pride. Pride in the entire cycling family that has got 100% behind this amazing project, determined to make it a ground-breaking reality.

Paul Bush (PB): Speaking on behalf of the team, I’d say there’s a real mixture of excitement, anticipation and of course a huge amount of ongoing hard work to ensure this 11-day mega event is incredible for everybody attending. The venues are in place, event delivery partners appointed, and volunteer recruitment underway – so we are ready to welcome the world! Today (3 Feb) is obviously a significant milestone for us and over the next few months we will continue to pivot from planning to delivery mode.

What makes Glasgow and Scotland such a good venue for the first edition?

DL: Their experience organising major international multi-sport and cycling events, their professionalism, their commitment to sustainability and active mobility, their promotion of cycling for all, not to mention the magnificent and diverse tourism possibilities across the country….

PB: Our track record in bidding for and successfully hosting major events can be evidenced through the 2014 Commonwealth Games; 2014 Ryder Cup; 2018 European Championships; 2019 Solheim Cup; Euro2020 and COP26 in 2021.

Beyond the Championships, Scotland offers an amazing variety of cycling experiences, through some of the finest scenery. There has never been a better time to experience cycling in Scotland.

Give us three reasons that fans - and even those uninitiated to cycling - should go to Scotland to witness this event


  1. To be part of a major chapter of cycling’s history.

  2. To entirely immerse yourself in one of the most diverse sports on the planet – never before has it been possible to witness such an array of hugely varying cycling disciplines in such close proximity.

  3. To embark on a journey of discovery: discovery of new heroes, disciplines you are not familiar with, regions you have never visited. It’s a chance of a lifetime!


  1. It’s a must-see moment enabling both athletes and spectators to experience a world first – something which has never been seen, nor cycled before.

  2. From natural amphitheatre venues such as Fort William boasting some of the fastest and most exhilarating races, to Scotland's iconic first indoor velodrome named after Sir Chris Hoy, each and every day of rainbow jerseys will be on the line as new UCI World Champions emerge across a range of venues and locations.

  3. With over 8000 elite and amateur cyclists participating, bringing their bikes from more than 120 countries – the size and scale of what’s on offer in one mega event means there will be something for everyone.

Tell us what we can expect

DL: A magical, unprecedented, gripping and immersive cycling experience. See you there!

PB: Ultimate tests of talent, tenacity and toughness in an exhilarating atmosphere of competition, celebration and friendliness. See you there!