A unique World Championships covering every discipline under the UCI umbrella concluded on Sunday evening in Scotland with the Women’s Elite Road Race, won by Lotte Kopecky of Belgium.

The intense 11-day cycling event in Scotland witnessed the presentation of over 200 prestigious rainbow jerseys. Participants from various cycling disciplines gave their all, leaving no stone unturned and enduring countless challenges. One of those challenges, however, was for the viewer to keep on top of it all.

So if you’ve missed something throughout the 2-week festival of cycling, I’m here to give a run-through and recap of my highlights that went down during what has been dubbed as the “mega -worlds”.

Elite Road Races: A punishing parcours for all

The elite road races for men and women provided some of the most thrilling action, with the peloton and breakaways duelling it out on the tight streets of Glasgow’s city centre. The sharp corners and steep sections of Montrose Street provided some breathtaking imagery that will be remembered for a lifetime by the city’s citizens and remembered as one of the most painful courses in World Championship history for the partaking riders.

In the men’s race, a stunning display of skill and determination, Van der Poel made his move with 22km to go. His relentless pace left his competitors unable to catch up. However, the race took an unexpected turn as Van der Poel encountered a slippery bend, crashing and damaging his shoe. Despite the obstacles, with his skinsuit torn and his knee injured, Van der Poel pressed on undeterred. He crossed the finish line solo, securing the coveted rainbow jersey and making Dutch cycling history as the first Dutch winner in nearly four decades.

Lotte Kopecky, a true force to be reckoned with, had already claimed two world titles on the track earlier in the week. All eyes were on Kopecky in the elite women’s road race, and rightfully so.

With just under 7km left, Kopecky showcased her incredible strength and stamina as she left Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig behind. The Dane struggled to match Kopecky’s relentless pace over Montrose Street, allowing Kopecky to break away and race towards victory all on her own. The podium was filled with an outpouring of joy and admiration for Kopecky, as her Belgian teammates hoisted her high in a beautiful moment of celebration.

Not only that, she was aboard the all-new Specialized Tarmac SL8, released just one week prior, showcasing that there still is only, one bike to rule them all.

Elite XCO Mountainbike: Pidcock proves he’s born to MTB

Much furore surrounded the start of the elite men’s XCO in Glentress, with thanks to the UCI giving preferential grid positions to the ‘roadies’ amongst the start line: Mathieu van der Poel, Tom Pidcock, and Peter Sagan. Deviating from their MTB rankings where Sagan and Van der Poel would have started from the back, The UCI openly acknowledged that this adjustment was implemented in acknowledgment of the immense “added value” that these athletes bring to the sport. Safe to say not everyone agreed…

As it turned out, no one could stop Tom Pidcock from achieving a victory. The 24-year-old from Yorkshire would eventually forge clear of his rivals and overcome late gearing problems to take the win in front of a jubilant crowd. Joining XC legend Nino Schurter in adding the rainbow bands to the gold Olympic bands he already wears, it’s on the MTB where Pidcock himself says he feels most at home.

Elinor Barker: Powering through Motherhood to Become a Double Track World Champion in Glasgow

Elinor Barker was already a decorated Olympic Champion for Great Britain on the track, and can now add Double track World Champion to that palmares. Although it’s perhaps not as easy as it may seem, Elinor gave birth to her son back in March of 2022 and had fears that she would struggle to set foot on the track ever again.

Alongside her Madison partner, Neah Evans, the duo thrilled the packed-out crowd at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome to take gold in the event. On the road, Elinor rides for Uno-X Team and has had incredible support from the team who have embraced their female riders who have had/are having babies. This marks a very healthy development within women’s professional cycling, so it’s important to highlight the achievements of riders who have gone through pregnancy, had a child, and can still work back to the top of their sport.

Barker spoke to reporters after and added: “My little boy is here. He is probably asleep but it is the first time he has been in the same building when I have won a bike race.” And we think that is quite lovely!

The Best of the Rest

  • Men Junior Road Race – Albert Philipsen, Denmark
  • Women Junior Road Race – Julie Bego, France
  • Men Under-23 Road Race – Axel Laurance, France
  • Women Under-23 Road Race – Kata Blanka Vas, Hungary
  • Men Elite Road Race – Mathieu van der Poel, Netherlands
  • Women Elite Road Race – Lotte Kopecky, Belgium
  • Men Junior Individual Time Trial – Oscar Chamberlain, Australia
  • Women Individual Time Trial – Felicity Wilson-Haffenden, Australia
  • Men Under-23 Individual Time Trial – Lorenzo Milesi, Italy
  • Women Under-23 Individual Time Trial – Antonia Niedermaier, Germany
  • Men Elite Individual Time Trial – Remco Evenepoel, Belgium
  • Women Elite Individual Time Trial – Chloe Dygert, United States of America
  • Mixed Elite Team Time Trial – Switzerland
  • Men Junior Cross Country Olympic – Albert Philipsen, Denmark
  • Women Junior Cross Country Olympic – Isabella Holmgren, Canada
  • Men Under-23 Cross Country Olympic – Charlie Aldridge, United Kingdom
  • Women Under-23 Cross Country Olympic – Samara Maxwell, New Zealand
  • Men Elite Cross Country Olympic – Tom Pidcock, Great Britain
  • Women Elite Cross Country Olympic – Pauline Ferrand Prevot, France
  • Men Elite Cross Country Short Circuit – Sam Gaze, Australia
  • Women Elite Cross Country Olympic – Pauline Ferrand Prevot, France
  • Men Elite E-MTB Cross Country – Joris Ryf, Switzerland
  • Women Elite E-MTB Cross Country – Nathalie Schneitter, Switzerland
  • Mixed Elite Cross Country Team Relay – Switzerland
  • Men Elite Cross Country Marathon – Mona Mitterwallner, Austria
  • Women Elite Cross Country Marathon – Henrique Da Silva Avancini, Brazil
  • Men Junior Downhill – Henri Kieffer, Germany
  • Women Junior Downhill – Erice van Leuven, New Zealand
  • Men Elite Downhill – Charlie Hatton, Great Britain
  • Women Elite Downhill – Valentina Holl, Austria
Overal Medal Table for the Glasgow ‘Mega Worlds’ sees GB Comfortably Top the Table!