The “Who’s Who” of bike racing will be meeting up in Innsbruck/Tyrol from 22 to 30 September 2018. For the first time, the UCI Road World Championships are being held in Tyrol, and Innsbruck, as host city and sport capital of the Alps, will be welcoming the absolute top stars of the biking scene such as Greg Van Avermaet, Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Sagan. A total of twelve races starting from four different locations will head off into the heart of the city, making Innsbruck a hub for the road bike élite for the duration of the World Cup. But Innsbruck is also worth a visit anytime of the year for serious road racers who fancy riding in the tracks of top stars.
Between 22 and 30 September 2018 professional road racers will be lining up twelve times. The UCI Road World Championships will be taking place for the first time in Innsbruck/Tyrol in 2018, the World Cup circuits having already made an international name for themselves. Insiders talk about one of the most challenging road bike championships of all time, with lots of arduous ascents. True to the motto ”Riding the Heart of the Alps”, the spectacular routes take in steep ramps and rapid descents through the imposing Tyrolean mountains before riders make for the finish outside the historic and prestigious Hofburg in the heart of Innsbruck. With its unique combination of city life and fantastic mountain scenery, Innsbruck is the worthy centre for the UCI Road Bike World Cup 2018 and the meeting place for some 1,000 bikers, with up to 500,000 spectators also expected.
Once to hell and back
Visitors and onlookers can look forward to the highlight of the World Cup on 30 September, the last race day. The men’s élite road race covers more than 265 kilometres and some 5,000 metres of altitude gain from Kufstein to Innsbruck. No fewer than seven times the bikers have to master a 24 km circuit through the villages of Aldrans, Lans and Igls and Innsbruck’s city centre before the last climb up to the Hungerburg – through the notorious “Höttinger Höll” – separates the wheat from the chaff. Having already climbed more than 4,000 metres, this last stretch, with a gradient of 28%, will more than live up to its name (‘Höll’ being the German for ‘hell’) and test the riders’ abilities to the limit. All the information about the 2018 UCI Road World Championships as well as holiday deals for everyone who wants to be in Innsbruck/Tyrol in person from 22 to 30 September: www.innsbruck-tirol2018.com
Innsbruck: a world-class bike racing region
At all times of the year, Innsbruck also offers serious amateur bikers the chance to enjoy what Sagan, Van Avermaet and Co. are privileged to experience during the UCI Road World Championships. Starting from the historic old town, you’ve very soon left behind the vibrant city life of Innsbruck. Unless you choose to keep to the flat roads in the Inn Valley, you soon find you’ve already achieved many metres of altitude gain because Innsbruck, surrounded by mountains, provides road bikers with a varied terrain. Whether it be the exhausting ascent up to the Kühtai ski resort, which lies 2,020 m above sea level, or some rather less demanding ascents around the city, or a gentle ride across the idyllic Mieminger Plateau – in no time at all bike enthusiasts will be more than impressed by the first class roads, the diversity of the landscape and the scenic beauty of the bike racing region around Innsbruck. And, as the largest city in Tyrol, Innsbruck has so many facilities to complete the holiday package. Fantastic restaurants and pubs, numerous attractions, a vibrant nightlife, lots of shops and cultural highlights such as the New Orleans Festival or the Festival of Early Music make a biking holiday in Innsbruck into a mountain and city experience of the highest class. More information at www.innsbruck.info/rennrad. Not only are the conditions in the racing bike region of Innsbruck world-class but, with professional support, you can also quickly bring your fitness up to the next level.
The SPORT CAMPUS Tirol offers regular road bike camps for beginners and professionals from May to September, and the programme also includes a Ladies’ Week. The goal of Franz Venier, an extreme athlete, successful coach and author who supervises the camps, is to improve racing bike training for sport lovers. He shows camp participants how to become a successful racer and what makes for effective training. More information about the road bike camps 2018: www.bikecity-innsbruck.com/rennrad/rennradcamps.html
The Bike Hotel Seppl sends its guests straight out on tour with a genuine world champion. From 17 to 20 May 2018, Jan Ulrich will be taking participants out with him onto the course of the UCI Road World Championships 2018, covering the routes for the team time trials and road races. Tips from the Tour de France winner, support vehicle and first-class catering included, of course. More information about the Hotel Seppl and all the details about the package at: www.hotel-seppl.at
More highlights on the Innsbruck road race events calendar
In addition to this year’s highlight, the UCI Road Bike World Championships 2018, Innsbruck is the start, finish or stopover for international cycling races every year. From April biking enthusiasts can start getting in the mood for the World Cup in Innsbruck and even get on their bikes or get a taste of the racing atmosphere as enthusiastic visitors. With the second edition of PEAKBREAK, the Tour of the Alps, and the Ötztal Cycle Marathon, the sports capital of the Alps will this year be hosting three first class international racing events for amateurs and professionals.
Tour of the Alps
This spring, from 16 to 20 April 2018, the Tour of the Alps, the professional stage race which celebrated its première last year, will be making its way through Tyrol, South Tyrol and Trentino. From the start in Arco to the finish in Innsbruck, the route covers 714.3 kilometres with 13,100 metres of altitude gain and 10 mountain classifications. Twenty teams – including numerous World Teams – use the race to test their form for the Giro d’Italia. What will be especially exciting this year is that the last stage, starting in Rattenberg and finishing in Innsbruck, will follow the route of the Road World Championships in September. www.tourofthealps.eu
Between 1 and 7 July, PEAKBREAK 2018 will be offering all bikers the chance to prove themselves over some 600 kilometres, with 17,000 metres of altitude gain, and compare themselves with the best times of the Giro winners. The route of the multi-day race is via Mutters, the probable stage finish and start near Innsbruck, and almost all the places most sacred to bikers in North and South Tyrol. From the Stelvio Pass to the Timmelsjoch to the Grödnerjoch, the race week has everything to get bikers’ hearts beating faster. And even team players are catered for, starting with individual classifications or in teams of two. First-class service with luggage transfer and refreshment stops during the race, as well as great entertainment in each stopover and destination are again part of the total experience at PEAKBREAK 2018. www.peakbreak.com
Ötztal Cycle Marathon
Now firmly established as one of the classic amateur road bike races, every year up to 4,000 riders from 41 countries tackle their “inner demons”. There’s no other way to explain that 238 kilometres, four Alpine passes and an almost unimaginable 5,500 metres of altitude gain can be conquered in just one day. Serious amateur bikers from all over the world will once again be tackling the classic Ötztal Tour on 2 September 2018. The route starts from the Ötztal Glacier World and continues via the Kühtai Saddle (2,020 m) and the Sellraintal valley to Innsbruck, and then via the Brenner Pass (1,370 m) and Vipiteno (Sterzing) to the Jaufenpass (2,090 m). The pièce de résistance for the bikers is the exhausting climb up to the Timmelsjoch at 2,509 m above sea level before they head back to the finish in Sölden. Getting hold of one of the 4,000 starting places at the Ötztal Cycle Marathon is very difficult, but for spectators it’s easy to find a place from where they can cheer the riders on and share the excitement. www.oetztaler-radmarathon.com
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