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Flanders makes bid for 2021 World Championships

Joe Robinson
12 Jan 2018

A return to the one of cycling's true heartlands could be on the cards for the World Championships

Flanders will bid to host the 2021 World Championships to honour the 100th anniversary of the area first hosting the race. The northern region of Belgium, which is firmly entrenched into cycling history, will stand as a candidate to host the week long event in 2021, 19 years after it last held the championships in Zolder in 2002.

Flemish minister of sport Philippe Muyters told Sporza, 'Flanders is cycling. In 2002, the last time we organised the World Championships in Zolder. Now we have the chance to get it to Flanders in the jubilee year 2021.'

Echoing the enthusiasm of Muyters was Flemish Prime Minister Geert Bourgeois who commented, 'Organising the World Championships would be a great opportunity for us.

'Not just for the fans, who get the chance to see the absolute best at work for several days in a row, but also for the image of Flanders in the world.'

Fans of the sport will unanimously have their fingers crossed that if the area is granted the championships it will use the cobbled climbs of the region used in such races as the Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem and E3 Harelbeke.

The use of climbs such as the Paterberg, Koppenberg and Muur van Geraardsbergen could result in one of the most exciting World road races in the modern era. 

These climbs were ignored in 2002, the last occasion the Worlds visited Belgium, with Italian sprinter Mario Cippolini outsprinting Robbie McEwen and Erik Zabel to the rainbow jersey.

Official applications for the Worlds have to be submitted by June of next year with the successful city or area being announced in September by the UCI.