The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has invited the countries of Africa to present bids to host cycling’s flagship event in 2025.
As announced during the UCI presidential campaign in 2017, and as unanimously adopted by the Management Committee in Arzon in June 2018, the UCI hopes to see Africa host its first UCI Road World Championships in 2025.
The bid deadline is September 2019, at which point the UCI, following the approval of its Management Committee, will announce the name of the city selected at its annual Congress.
A letter of invitation and a document designed to help prospective candidates with their bids have been sent to all 50 National Federations of the African Cycling Confederation (CAC).
The aim of what will be a landmark event in cycling’s history is to consolidate the growth of our sport in Africa.
In recent years Africa has shown its considerable interest in organising major events across our various disciplines, such as the Mountain Bike and Para-cycling Road UCI World Championships, held in Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) in 2013 and 2017 respectively. Meanwhile, the road races on the UCI Africa Tour calendar, such as the Tour du Rwanda, the Tropicale Amissa Bongo, and the Tour du Maroc, attract a number of professional teams from elsewhere in the world and provide an indication of the continent’s increasingly high profile on the UCI International Calendar.
In the meantime, and thanks to the support of the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in Aigle, Switzerland, and the continent’s satellite centre in Capetown, South Africa, a clutch of African riders have broken through at the highest level, including the UCI WorldTour. Among them are the Eritrean trio of Daniel Teklehaimanot, Natnael Berhane and Tsgabu Grmay, Ethiopia’s Merhawi Kudus, Rwanda’s Valens Ndayisenga, and Youcef Reguigui of Algeria. Over the last 15 years, the UCI WCC and its African satellite centre have welcomed nearly 1,000 trainees from the continent.
Since the 1970s, the UCI Road World Championships have regularly ventured beyond Europe to pastures new in a bid to grow the popularity of our sport around the world, heading to the Americas (Canada: Montreal in 1974 and Hamilton in 2003; Venezuela: San Cristobal in 1977; Colombia: Duitama in 1995; the USA: Colorado Springs in 1986 and Richmond in 2015), Asia (Japan: Utsunomiya in 1990; Qatar: Doha in 2016), and Oceania (Australia: Melbourne in 2010). The UCI hopes that Africa will now take its turn in hosting the major annual gathering of the world’s national road cycling teams, who will vie for the coveted UCI World Champion’s rainbow jersey.
UCI President David Lappartient said: “The staging of the UCI’s flagship event in Africa in 2025 will represent a significant step forward in growing the popularity of our sport. It is an occasion that will see the world’s top riders, hundreds of reporters and hundreds of thousands of spectators come together for the very first time in Africa, over the course of eight whole days. I strongly urge the continent’s National Federations, in partnership with the prospective host cities, to present bids to stage this historic event. The Management Committee and I are delighted to see Africa host the UCI Road World Championships and for the continent to have the opportunity to show its passion for and commitment to cycling. We cannot wait to join the fans in watching the events.”