The UCI Road World Championships are returning to Italy from the 24th to the 27th September. Thanks to the Emilia-Romagna Region, the APT Servizi Emilia Romagna Tourism Bureau, the Italian Cycling Federation and the Imola2020 Organizing Committee, the Worlds will come once again to Imola’s Enzo e Dino Ferrari Racetrack, a state-of-the-art facility where 52 years ago, in 1968, the Italian rider Vittorio Adorni won the rainbow jersey: his lead of 9 minutes 50 seconds over his runner-up is still the largest gap ever recorded at the UCI Worlds. The World Championship logo holds the excellence of a territory, with the Main Sponsor Gruppo Hera. 2020 will be an historical edition in one of Europe’s heartlands of cycling, giving it the opportunity to show the world its trademark beauty, power of attraction and hospitality.


The UCI Road World Championships are returning to Italy seven years after the 2013 edition in Florence, Tuscany. The Emilia-Romagna Region, the APT Servizi Emilia-Romagna Tourism Bureau, the FCI (Italian Cycling Federation) and the Imola2020 Organizing Committee, that together with the Main Sponsor, Gruppo Hera, have taken on the major challenge of organizing this international event for Elite Men and Women in what is a particularly difficult year.

Following the cancellation of the scheduled event in Aigle-Martigny (due to restrictive measures put in place by the Swiss government linked to the Covid-19 pandemic), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) searched for a replacement venue. From four quality bid files received, cycling’s governing body chose that prepared by the Imola 2020 Committee thanks to a road race course that is as spectacular, tough and demanding as the Swiss one, and state-of-the-art facilities offering essential required space to comply with the current laws and rules to ensure maximum safety during the current pandemic.

From the 24th to the 27th September 2020 the UCI Road World Championships for Elite riders will have its headquarters at Imola’s Enzo e Dino Ferrari Racetrack, a venue that epitomizes Italy’s place in the history of worldwide sport. This premium facility, highlighting the excellence of Emilia-Romagna and Italy, hosted the Formula 1 circus less than 40 days after an historical edition of the UCI Road World Championships 52 years ago: the 1968 UCI Worlds awarded the rainbow jersey to Italy’s own Vittorio Adorni, whose 9’50’’ lead over the Belgian Herman Van Springel remains the largest gap ever recorded between the first and second finishers in the UCI Road World Championships.

The UCI Road World Championships in Imola are an extraordinary result for Emilia Romagna, a region that loves cycling and that is the birthplace of champions who have made history in this sport - says Stefano Bonaccini, the region’s President -This assignment fills us with pride. We started working for it as soon as we heard that it was possible to submit Imola’s and Emilia-Romagna’s candidacy and it adds another prestigious event to a calendar that within a matter of weeks already has two Moto Gp races scheduled in Misano Adriatico and a Formula 1 Grand Prix, once again in Imola, in addition to many other sports events between now and the end of the year. All this comes as a gratification for all the work that our Region is putting in along with the local communities in favour of sports in general, as a means to give added value to our region, to promote tourism, but also in terms of social unity and growth opportunities for our young generation. After an outstanding 2019 that was crowned with the Grand Depart of the 102nd edition of the Giro d’Italia from Bologna and the other towns that it went through, this is another year of great sports events. It enables us to restart all together, keeping safe and looking with confidence towards the future”. 

The President of the Italian Cycling Federation, Renato Di Rocco: “The Imola Road World Championships for me are above all a memory, possibly one of the most pleasant of my sports career when, as a young student donning the uniform of the Scuola Centrale dello Sport, I raised the Italian flag during the national anthem to honour Vittorio Adorni’s victory. I have kept that flag with great care and pride, as proof of an historical event, until 2008 when, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of that victory, as President of the Italian Cycling Federation together with our greatly missed Franco Ballerini and Paolo Bettini, I was given the opportunity to hand it over to Vittorio. That too has been a very touching, moving moment. For this reason Imola holds a special place in my heart and I can’t but welcome with great satisfaction the UCI’s choice to host the 2020 Championships there. 
The statistics confirm that Italy is moving ever closer to becoming the centre of the international cycling world also in terms of event organization. The Imola 2020 edition will be the 14th World Road Cycling Championship to be held in our country, the 3rd since I’ve been elected President (Varese and Florence hosted the two previous editions). To these we can add the numerous World and European Championships which have been organized for other sports or categories.
The International Federation has made a wise and responsible decision, because of the solid guarantee offered by the Organizing Committee and the Emilia-Romagna region (to whom go my heartfelt thanks), but it has not been an easy decision. The Italian Federation took on the complex job of handling contacts and liaisons, given also the very scarce amount of available time, so that one of the Italian candidacies (to be honest, all of them very good and each one of them presenting its own strong points) could bring the World Championships back to Italy seven years from the last time. 
We have succeeded, because this Country deserves it and the Italian sports environment deserves it as do the many fans that follow with enthusiasm and dedication the endeavours of our champions”.

The Imola2020 Organizing Committee
Organizing a UCI Road World Championships at an historical time such as this and with such short notice will require an effort no less than that of Adorni in 1968. The Organizing Committee that has formed in Imola is ready to turn a seemingly impossible challenge into an opportunity.
At the head of the Imola2020 organizing machine are the President of the Organizing Committee, Marco Pavarini, and the General Manager, Marco Selleri, who coordinate the experienced Extragiro staff, an operating division born within the organizing group that has reintroduced the Giro d’Italia Under 23 and that got cycling back into action in Italy this year with the Warm Up Ciclismo 2020 event at the Enzo e Dino Ferrari Racetrack.

The Organizing Committee has the right mixture of experience and professionalism -, says the President Mr. Marco Pavarini -. Our great knowledge of cycling event organization blends with Emilia Romagna’s, Imola’s and the whole of Italy’s great love of cycling. Special thanks go to the Italian Cycling Federation for leading the sprint in Imola’s candidacy, to the Emilia-Romagna Region which firmly believes in cycling as a means to promote the territory and to gruppo Hera, the Main Sponsor of the World Championships, that has chosen to embrace an event that is bringing Emilia-Romagna back to the centre of the great international sporting event scene”.

The UCI President, David Lappartient: “Coming back to Italy with the UCI Road World Championships is a strong message for cycling and for the country and its people who suffered so much from Covid-19 in the early months of the pandemic. Imola and Emilia-Romagna will provide an extraordinary backdrop for our event that will reveal the best men and women riders in the world on selective courses. Our thoughts go out to Aigle and Martigny in Switzerland who have worked tirelessly for two years and thank you to Italy for accepting the challenge of organising these Championships in such a short time.”

The territory that our company takes care of day in and day out - says Mr. Tomaso Tommasi di Vignano, CEO of Gruppo Hera - has strong historical and emotional ties with cycling. Therefore, a rendezvous such as the World Cycling Championships has instantly lit up our enthusiasm. We are particularly happy that we will not only be sustaining this effort to the best of our ability but also through our services that will accompany the event to guarantee its sustainability and to help handle the fan flow efficiently. After all”, says Mr. Tommasi, “the pedals of these bikes remind us of the great effort invested by so many champions and are a source of inspiration for those, such as Hera, who strive to constantly propose something new and better, to continue to improve with time and aim for new goals, in the interest above all of the communities served”.

The Imola2020 logo holds the excellence of a territory
With their consecration to the cycling tradition, its values and its extraordinary power to evoke strength, willpower and determination, Imola and Emilia-Romagna have forever been the land of cycling.
Emilia-Romagna is and has been a true cycling region. It is the birthplace of great champions such as Ercole Baldini and Marco Pantani not to mention Vittorio Adorni. Some very prestigious races as well as some of Europe’s most famous Granfondo events take place here. The positive trend has data to confirm it: 500,000 bike tourist arrivals for an overall number of approximately 1.5 million visitors, hundreds of bike hotels and 8,000 km of bike routes for both road and mountain bike lovers.

The UCI Road World Championships will be an opportunity to put this welcoming and hospitable region in the limelight, and to tell the world about its traditions and excellencies. To name just a few, there is the Food Valley with all 44 of its Dop and Igp certified products (the record in Europe), and the Motor Valley with its world-famous brands Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati. Then there is the culture with the art towns along the Via Emilia, the year of Parma capital of Italy 2020-21 as well as the celebrations to mark the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death, with the restoration of the poet’s tomb in Ravenna and a full calendar of events. Not to be overlooked are the Appenines with their ancient villages and the network of national and regional parks that hold great treasures in terms of biodiversity.

The UCI Road World Championships race routes
The Men and Women Elite time trials will take place on the same 31.7 km course.
The Men and Women Elite road races will take place on a 28.8km circuit with a 550m altitude gap (to be repeated 5 times by female riders for an overall length of 144 km with 2750m difference in altitude and 9 times by males riders for an overall length of 259.2 km with 4950m difference in altitude, which includes the Mazzolano climb (with gradients peaking at 13%) and the Cima Gallisterna climb (with gradients peaking at 14%). This paves the way for spectacular and demanding road races, just like any great classical race course that crowns world class champions.


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