UCI Road World Championships 2022: Looking back on this year’s favorites

The UCI Road World Championships 2022 took place from 18th to 25th September in Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia.

Contestants could participate in a total of 11 events, held over a period of eight days. This included time trials, road races, and a mixed relay. The races were divided into different categories, men, women, and Elite. It was only the second time the event was held in Australia after the first one took place in Geelong in 2010.

For the first time this year, men’s and women’s individual time trials, which started on Sunday 18th, were set out over the same distance and on the same circuit route. On September 24th and 25th, the men’s and women’s road races began in Helensburgh, heading south past a lookout point on Bald Hill and along the Seacliff Bridge towards Wollongong.

Where to watch the UCI Championships?

The UCI Road World Championship was the pinnacle of a series of cycling spectacles that had fans. For viewers in the US, the streaming service Flobikes is one of the most popular platforms to follow professional cycling events.

This year’s favorites: Elite Men

One thing all major sporting events have in common is that many fans love the thrill of putting money on their favorites. Many predominantly east-coast states including New York and New Jersey, plus Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and many more allow sports betting both in person and online. NJ sports betting sites are among the most progressive in the US and offer a wide range of options. Looking at the Tour de France odds for 2023, for example, we can see that the newly crowned Vuelta winner, Remco Evenepoel, for example, has odds of +275 for that competition at PointsBet.

As addressed before on PezCycling News, many former and defending champions in road cycling history got back on the saddle to compete for a title in 2022. Double-defending champion Julian Alaphilippe had a rocky start to the season. The Frenchman sustained injuries in a series of accidents he was involved in, in Spain and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. This led to disruptions in his training in the months leading up to the championships and left fans waiting eagerly to see whether he could make a comeback in this year’s tournament.

Other much-anticipated favorites included Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert, and Tadej  Pogačar. Van Aert finished in fourth place in the finale of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec, but the Belgian national was beaten by Slovenia’s Tadej Pogačar at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal the week before UCI.

This year’s favorites: Elite Women

In the women’s Elite category, all eyes were on Dutch frontrunner Annemiek van Vleuten. On top of the Giro and the Tour, she also won the Vuelta this year. The Netherlands’ women built a strong team, with other top favorites, like last year’s silver medalist Marianne Vos and Demi Vollering, also in their ranks.

Last year’s ITT champion Ellen van Dijk fought to defend her crown from Annemiek van Vleute and Grace Brown. Last year’s champion Elisa Balsamo took the lead in a solid Italian female lineup, which also consisted of Elisa Longo Borghini and Silvia Persico. This put Italy in a strong position to defend its title against the Dutch.

Last but not least, a mixed relay was also on the schedule for the UCI World Championships 2022, just like in previous years, in which the Netherlands fought to reclaim their title from three years ago, after losing to Germany in Leuven.