2022 UCI Road World Championship Courses Unveiled in Wollongong

A spectacular beach-front finish line, a complex climb through sub-tropical rainforest on Mount Keira and an unforgettable Elite road race start that encompasses the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge are all part of the Wollongong 2022 UCI Road World Championship courses.

Launched in Wollongong today, the 2022 UCI Road World Championship courses are a celebration of the unique topography of the region, from the coast to the city to the escarpment that encircles the area.

Wollongong – located on Dharawal country – will welcome more than 1,000 of the world’s best cyclists from 75-plus countries to compete for a coveted rainbow jersey from 18-25 September 2022. Eleven Road Race and Time Trial medals will be contested in front of 300,000 spectators and more than 300 million viewers globally.

The Championships will open on Sunday 18 September with a dynamic double header of the Women Elite and Men Elite Time Trials. It is the first time in the history of the UCI Road World Championships that both these time trials will be raced on the same day and over the same distance. A city-based circuit will be used for all Time Trials, with the Elite athletes completing a slightly longer distance that stretches north to Towradgi Beach and back to the heart of Wollongong.

The principal Time Trial course will call for innovation from the riders to save precious seconds over a fast and furious circuit that takes in many of the local landmarks. It includes Squire’s Way – running parallel with the popular Blue Mile shared cycle pathway – from public hub Thomas Dalton Park, past the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus to the beachside Stuart Park where recreation activities take place daily. The circuit culminates with a sprint along Cliff Road, past the Wollongong lighthouse at Flagstaff Hill through to the finish line on Marine Drive adjacent to the beautiful City Beach.

Following a spectacular week of racing, the Men Elite and Women Elite Road Races will unfold on the weekend of 24 and 25 September over three main components – the Helensburgh remote start, the Mount Keira Loop, and Wollongong City Circuit. 

Starting in the hamlet of Helensburgh, bordering Royal National Park north of Wollongong, the peloton will travel south to Stanwell Tops before passing by the region’s famous Bald Hill lookout and descending toward the city via Coalcliff and along the inimitable Sea Cliff Bridge. The athletes will traverse the northern beaches of the region including Stanwell Park, Coalcliff, Clifton, Scarborough, Wombarra, Coledale, Austinmer, Thirroul and Bulli, heading to Wollongong.

The Mount Keira loop features a substantial climb into the dramatic escarpment, peaking at 473m elevation. The mountain is favoured among local riders for its tough ascent, stunning sub-tropical surrounds and the lightning-fast descent through Kembla Heights, Cordeaux Heights and out to Port Kembla steelworks, the industrial heart and economic birthplace of the city.

Wollongong City Circuit – which is also the course for the Junior and Under 23 riders – is a technical route through the suburbs of Gwynneville, Mount Ousley, Mount Pleasant, Fairy Meadow and North Wollongong. The steady ascent along Mount Ousley Road to Mount Pleasant is deceptively tough – it features an average gradient of 7.7% and a maximum of 14% to reach a maximum elevation of 119m.

During the week, individual time trials and road races for Men and Women Junior and Men Under 23, as well as the team time trial mixed relay, will take centre stage, providing opportunities for spectators – including local aspiring riders – 

to see the emerging stars of the sport battle for podium finish.

Wollongong 2022 Chair Dean Dalla Valle said the courses and schedule captured the very best of the region.

“Wollongong is a city that is rich in diverse, natural assets including a coastline that encompasses remarkable cliffs, crystal clear water and golden sandy beaches which contrasts with the abundant escarpment,” Mr Dalla Valle said.

“These features will shine on the broadcast and be an appealing drawcard for spectators, the UCI and the athletes who have not competed in Australia for several years.

“We are so excited to unveil the courses and competition schedule, building momentum toward this marvellous event and giving everyone a taste of what’s to come next September.”

UCI President David Lappartient said the Wollongong 2022 courses had advanced technical components and were designed with spectators in mind.

“The courses are exciting and challenging, and will provide ample opportunity for fans to immerse themselves in the event and see the world’s best cyclists in action,” Mr Lappartient said.

“The UCI is pleased to have been working closely with the local organising committee over the past 12 months to create courses that are complex, technical and will separate the true champions from their peers.

“Although the global pandemic has limited our ability to visit Wollongong to date, the UCI looks forward to visiting in the first quarter of 2022 to see first-hand the extensive planning by the organising committee and confirm all race details, which will then be released to the international cycling community.”

Wollongong 2022 Race Director Scott Sunderland said the landscapes and topography would please athletes and spectators alike.

“There’s nowhere in the world like Australia, and I think the elevation of the region will surprise some people,” Mr Sunderland said.

“The 2022 UCI Road World Championships courses have all the makings to produce a sensational series of races that will unearth worthy medallists and create memories for fans and athletes alike.” 

Additional Comments

Federal Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck:  

“Yet again we have another example of Australia’s enviable credentials as host of a major sporting spectacle,” Minister Colbeck said. 

“The eyes of the cycling world will be fixed on Australia for the 2022 UCI Road World Championship – a guaranteed showcase of cycling action against a spectacular regional backdrop.”

 

NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres:

“Whether you’re an athlete, a spectator, a volunteer or a local, the UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong will have something for everyone.” 

“This is a huge win for Wollongong and NSW, with around 300,000 spectators and 10,000 international visitors expected to attend. The economic contribution of the event alone will be almost $100 million.

“What is equally exciting is the longer-term impact of hosting the World Championships, with Wollongong’s beautiful coastline and mountains on display to an estimated 300 million cycling fans worldwide via the international broadcast.

 

NSW Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans Natalie Ward:

“We can’t wait to see the world’s best cyclists flying along the streets of Wollongong next September and I hope sport fans embrace the opportunity to gather roadside and cheer the athletes on,” Mrs Ward said. 

“Importantly, this exciting event will be the first time in UCI Road World Championship history that both the men’s and women’s elite time trial will take place on the same day over the same distance.

“The NSW Government is proud to support this prestigious event as part of the 10 World Cups In 10 Years initiative and to be involved in a legacy program that will create lasting benefits for cycling and the wider community.

 

Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle:

“This will be an event like no other for Wollongong, and it’s wonderful to know that visitors and spectators from around the globe will be enjoying the breadth and diversity of our beautiful city,” Mr Doyle said.

“For our local community this is a unique opportunity to see top international athletes on our doorstep and to welcome the world to Wollongong – the Southern Hemisphere’s only UCI Bike City – for the event.

“Council is working closely with the organising committee, to ensure the event is delivered safely, creating opportunities to improve our city and support our local community to be part of this exciting event and embrace the long-term benefits it will provide.”

 

Wollongong 2022 CEO Stu Taggart:

“Our sport and event teams have been working hard behind the scenes to develop courses that highlight the unique attributes of the region and create an electric atmosphere for athletes and spectators alike,” Mr Taggart said.

“We look forward to welcoming the UCI to Wollongong to confirm and finalise the race details together in early 2022.

“Planning is well underway to ensure this is a spectacular sport and community event that drives long-term growth in cycling and lasting benefits for Wollongong and New South Wales.”

 

AusCycling CEO Marne Fechner:

“There has never been a period like this for international sport where restricted movement has challenged athletes, officials and fans from engaging with major events,” Ms Fechner said.

“For this reason we are even more excited to host the 2022 UCI Road World Championships 

to relaunch international cycling in Australia with this marquee event for against the backdrop of a beautiful city that is embracing bike riding for sport, leisure and active transport.”

 

DOWNLOAD MEDIA ASSETS: Including video content, course maps and destination imagery.

MEDIA: Candice Keller | candice@wollongong2022.com.au | +61 439 442 800

 

Wollongong 2022 UCI Road World Championship competition information

 

Date Category Indicative road closure times (subject to change)
Saturday 17 September Training
Sunday 18 September Women Elite Time Trial

Men Elite Time Trial

From 8:00am to 6:00pm
Monday 19 September Men Under 23 Time Trial From 12:00pm to 6:00pm
Tuesday 20 September Women Junior Time Trial

Men Junior Time Trial

From 8:00am to 6:00pm
Wednesday 21 September Team Time Trial mixed relay From 1:00pm to 6:00pm
Thursday 22 September Training
Friday 23 September Men Junior Road Race

Men U23 Road Race

From 7:30am to 6:00pm 
Saturday 24 September Women Junior Road Race

Women Elite Road Race

From 7:30am to 6:30pm
Sunday 25 September Men Elite Road Race From 8:30am to 6:00pm 

 

Fast facts about the Wollongong 2022 UCI Road World Championships:

  • Wollongong 2022 will be the first time in history of the UCI Road World Championships that the Men Elite and Women Elite Time Trial will take place on the same day over the same distance
  • Mount Keira is associated with Dreamtime creation stories and is thought to have been used for ceremonies
  • There are eight lookout points along the escarpment that encircles Wollongong that provide spectacular views out to the South Pacific Ocean: Bald Hill Lookout, Bulli Lookout, Hill 60 Lookout, Mount Keira Lookout, Mount Kembla Lookout, Panorama House, Southern Gateway Centre Lookout and Sublime Point
  • The Wollongong City Circuit (Road Race) and Time Trial courses pass by WIN Stadium which was established as the city’s major sports venue in 1911 and hosted two Rugby World Cup matches in 2003
  • The Mount Keira Loop, which forms part of the Elite Road Race, descends toward Port Kembla, the home of Australia’s largest steelworks – the city’s industrial and economic heart for approximately two centuries
  • Wollongong City Council recently opened its first Mountain Bike Park in Cringila Hills, supporting other bike-friendly infrastructure across the city such as pop-up cycling routes and new bike trails from north to south
  • Australia has won 23 Elite medals at the UCI Road World Championships in total: six gold (Rohan Dennis: Men Elite TT 2018 & 2019; Cadel Evans Men Elite RR 2009; Michael Rogers Men Elite TT 2003-2005), 11 silver and six bronze. The most recent UCI Road World Championship medal for Australia was in Flanders 2021 where Luke Plapp won silver in the Men U23 Individual Time Trial