• Netherland's Annemiek van Vleuten celebrates winning the Women's Elite Road Race from Bradford to Harrogate (Getty)Source: Getty
Imola's motor racing circuit will host this year's World Road Cycling Championships, the UCI announced on Wednesday night (AEST).
SBS Cycling Central

Reuters, UCI
2 Sep 2020 - 10:34 PM  UPDATED 2 Sep 2020 - 10:38 PM

The Italian track, which will host its first F1 Grand Prix this year since 2006, was selected ahead of Planche des Belles Filles climb in the eastern Vosges mountains of France.

Aigle-Martigny in Switzerland was originally to host the Sept 20-27 event but organisers last month decided that the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible given the country's restrictions on public gatherings and quarantine requirements.

The UCI has shortened the programme down to just the elite men's and women's individual TT and road races starting on September 24. Races will start and finish at the famous Imola circuit near Bologna.

There will be no races for the Juniors and Under 23 categories. 

"The majority of the top athletes in the Elite Men and Women categories are already in Europe," the UCI press statement read. "As opposed to their younger counterparts whose national delegations, in a significant number of cases, will not be able to travel to Italy due to travel restrictions imposed in numerous countries.

"Limiting the programme to the Elite categories means a large majority of young athletes will not to be unfairly prevented from having the possibility to participate in the competitions."

The UCI also stated that despite the races starting and finishing on the Imola racing circuit, the routes will challenge riders.  

"The routes proposed by the organising committee stand out due to their extremely challenging character: the men’s road race will be 259.2km with a total of nearly 5000m of climbing, while the length of the women’s race will be 144km with a cumulated 2750m of ascension," the statement read. 

"The circuit (28.8km) will be the same for the men (9 laps) and women (5 laps) and will include two difficult climbs (3km in total with an average gradient of 10% and sections reaching 14%).

"These characteristics will offer the riders a profile comparable to that of Aigle-Martigny (Switzerland) which will suit the punchers and climbers and should produce exciting and lively races."

Watch the 2020 UCI Road World Championships with SBS. Details TBC.