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Article published 14/08/2023

Record crowds for Scottish cycling event

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships have been declared a huge success after a preliminary estimate of 1 million spectators turned out to watch the festival of cycling, while millions more tuned in around the world to see the eleven days of cycling action taking place in Glasgow and various locations across Scotland.

The 2023 Cycling World Championships close

The final event of the programme, the Women Elite Road Race, brought the curtain down on the inaugural event that has seen 13 UCI World Championships combined into one mega event for the first time ever.

Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky claimed the top spot following a thrilling finish to the race that saw tens of thousands line the route between Balloch and Glasgow. It was the first time the women’s elite road race has closed a UCI World Championship, with 207 riders (including Women Under 23) taking on the 154.1km course. This is up on the 129 riders that took to the start line at the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong, Australia.

A total of 653 medals were awarded and 220 UCI Rainbow jerseys races have been raced as fans of all ages flocked to venues across the country to witness cycling history being made, with sold out crowds at events across the programme.

Additionally, spectators lined roads, ramps, and routes at locations including Glasgow Green, Glentress, Stirling, Edinburgh, Perth and Kinross, Dundee, Angus, Fife, Falkirk, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, and Dumfries and Galloway, to cheer on riders at events up and down the country.


Wout Van AertCyclist crossing the finish line at the UCI Cycling World Championships

Key statistics from the event

1 million

fans are estimated to have turned out to watch the competition


athletes took part in the cycling events


volunteers supported the delivery of the events


medals were awarded across the competition

Such numbers demonstrate how the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships have undoubtedly inspired new fans of the sport and created new experiences for thousands of spectators at home and abroad. In addition, EY (Ernst & Young) have been commissioned to conduct a qualitative social and economic impact assessment for the event to detail the value that it has brought to Scotland.  

The delivery of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships would not have been possible without the support of the 4,000 volunteers who have supported in key roles across every venue, from making sure spectators have the best experience possible, to assisting with media operations and supporting elite cyclists.

Stirling final

Image from the time trials which took place in Stirling

The 2023 Cycling World Championships have brought together around 8000 athletes from over 130 countries, in what has been an unprecedented celebration of cycling.

“It is testament to Scotland's reputation as a world leading events destination that we were handed this opportunity by the UCI, and I just want to thank everyone who has played a role, from our funding partners to our host regions, the athletes, the spectators and of course the volunteers. Everyone has contributed to a memorable event that has further boosted the nation's reputation as a major event destination.

Paul Bush OBE, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Chair

About the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships

From 3 to 13 August 2023, the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships were hosted in Glasgow and across Scotland. It was the single biggest cycling event in history, bringing together for the first time 13 existing UCI World Championships into one mega event.    

This historic and innovative event welcomed around 8,000 amateur and elite cyclists from more than 120 countries and crown over 190 UCI World Champions across 13 UCI World Championships, which included: BMX Freestyle Flatland; BMX Freestyle Park; BMX Racing; Gran Fondo; Indoor Cycling; Mountain Bike Cross-country; Mountain Bike Downhill; Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon; Para-cycling Road; Para-cycling Track; Road; Track; Trials.

The event was delivered in collaboration between the UCI, Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, UK Sport, British Cycling, Glasgow Life and us with EventScotland through 2023 Cycling World Championships Ltd, with the partnership creating a blueprint for future editions by ensuring the inaugural event is authentic, innovative, and distinctive.


Cyclist doing stunt at event in Fort William

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