One hundred days from now, the opening ceremony of the 2021 UCI Road World Championships will mark a milestone in the history of our sport: a century since the first edition of our leading annual UCI event.
The 1921 UCI Road World Championships took place in Copenhagen (Denmark), and crowned Sweden’s Gunnar Sköld. One hundred years later, in Flanders (Belgium) this coming September, the 2021 edition of our UCI Road Worlds will see the current generation of riders battle it out for the prestigious rainbow jersey.
As we begin the 100-day countdown to the 2021 UCI Road World Championships, the UCI is delighted to announce a series of initiatives to mark this major anniversary.
Today we launch a web series of 10 episodes – one every 10 days until the start of the 2021 UCI Worlds – retracing the history of the event. These concise, moving videos, available on the UCI website, will stir up memories and emotions that have marked our sport and contributed to its worldwide popularity. As well as an overall review of the last century, different episodes will focus on the history of the rainbow jersey, technological developments, the sport’s trail-blazing women, key facts and figures and the globalisation of the UCI Worlds, before shining the spotlight on the renowned cycling region that is Flanders. Tune into the first episode on the UCI website, on Facebook or on our YouTube channel at 6pm CET this evening.
While you’re waiting, watch our teaser here.
From the beginning of next month, it will be possible to acquire a Panini album retracing the last 100 years of our UCI World Champions and the editions they won. The UCI and Panini – famous for its albums of sticker collections – have joined forces to produce this album dedicated to the UCI Road World Championships, which will be on sale from early July in kiosks in Belgium and Luxemburg, and online worldwide.
There is no doubt that road cycling’s UCI World Champions have helped make our sport what it is today, and the UCI is honoured to have invited current and past UCI World Champions to the 2021 UCI Road World Championships in Flanders. A series of activities organised for them will culminate with an exceptional Gala Dinner in Leuven on Saturday 25 September. This will be an utterly unique and most certainly emotional occasion, bringing together a large number of world-famous cyclists who have all contributed to our sport’s marvelous history. Never have so many UCI World Champions been united in one venue at the same time! You will have the opportunity to witness parts of the centenary celebrations thanks to daily clips (from 23 to 26 September) of our former UCI World Champions in Flanders and highlights of the Gala Dinner, which will be available on UCI platforms. Moreover, in the lead-up to the Worlds in Flanders, we will regularly broadcast portraits of a selection of our UCI Road World Champions looking back at their exploits and reliving their precious “rainbow moments”.
It is more than fitting that this very special centenary edition of the UCI Road World Championships is taking place in Flanders (September 19-26), home of great cycling names such as Eddy Merckx, Yvonne Reynders, Johan Museeuw and Tom Boonen. This region of Belgium is also the theatre of some of the great cycling Classics where riders tackle the famous cobbles and formidable “monts”: Koppenberg, Kwaremont, Kapelmuur and Kemmelberg.
Flanders has already delivered four magnificent editions of the UCI Road World Championships: Moorslede in 1950, Waregem in 1957, and Ronse in 1963 and 1988. Everything is in place for an unforgettable centenary edition.
And it all gets underway in 100 days!