The Grand 2022 Wollongong UCI Road World Championships Thread, September 18th-25th

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Re-watching some decisive moments, it struck me that every time something was happening (something very decisive), the TV director suddenly switched to a heli-shot, a rock pool, the Wollongong watchtower, the back of the peloton where the lesser demi-gods were dropped while there was action in the front, switching to the peloton when Remco made his decisive attack, etcetera. (I must admit I loved the footage of the 2 humpback whales).

I have never seen worse decisions in a World's by a TV director, who clearly had no clue about bike racing.
It was even worse during the women’s race the day before, with even longer stretches showing beaches, ocean etc., which didn’t even look very inviting because it was cloudy and rainy.
 
1993​
OsloNorwayOne of the better WC. Afwul weather all day. Lot of attacks. Very typical circuit, with 2 not even to dificult climb, became a very entertaining WC.
1994​
AgrigentoItalya bit too long ago to remember all details, but mainly a climbers race
1995​
DuitamaColombiaProbably the hardest world cup in recent history. Race of pure depletion. With the GC riders deciding the race
1996​
Lugano SwitzerlandMuseeuw with an early move. The favorites never reached the front anymore.
1997​
San SebastiánSpainWell, not so selective circuit, but still quite some good racing in the final, with a lot of tension in the final.
1998​
ValkenburgNetherlandsDefinitely one of the better world championships. Afwul weather all day. Lot's of people trying during the whole day. Big favourites already leaving from quite far out. Dutch drama with Boogerd having a flat tire in the last lap.
1999​
VeronaItalyNot really a spectacular circuit, but still an entertaining race. Early crash of the favorite. None of the Italians wanted to be to late to attack, afraid they were not allowed to race behind a team member (early Tafi attack). The Dutch team that missed an important break and Boogerd himself had to respond very early. Several importants groups trying in the end. Surprise winner.
2000​
PlouayFrancecompared to the years before it was not as entertaining. Still a quit good early break with DiLuca and Poland working somehow to bring the peloton back.
2001​
LisbonPortugalquite a boring race on a very typical world cup circuit. Italians killing each other as most particular action in the race.
2002​
ZolderBelgiumnot great at all
2003​
HamiltonCanadaOnly wathced this one partly. Very typical worlds, that only opened in the end.
2004​
VeronaItalyOnly see this one partly. As far as I remember a quite typical race, with action only late in the race by the favorites. A lot of Rabo in the finale and Freire surprisingly well uphill this race.
2005​
MadridSpainAnother boring WC. It was waiting till very late in the race, before the Spanish team tried something and opened the finale. Last 60km not too bad.
2006​
SalzburgAustriaThe Italians tried several times on the 2 small hills, to make it at least a little bit selective. But what I remember it was a boring race.
2007​
StuttgartGermanyQuite some good racing. Various groups tried. Favorites wait for the last laps. Good, but also nothing special that made it a memorable edition.
2008​
VareseItalySomewhat comparable to this years race in the sense that the favorites never really entered in the race. Outsiders already made the move 60-70 before the finish and the favorites never saw the front of the race anymore.
2009​
Mendrisio SwitzerlandQuite a good race. Some interesting groups that tried during the last laps.
2010​
GeelongAustraliaAs far as I remember the Belgiums made the race quite hard and Gilbert was really impacient and tried a few laps to early. Not a bad race at all. However, the sprint in the end was maybe a bit of a deception as the race deserved a more selective end.
2011​
CopenhagenDenmarkI wasted some hours of my live here watching this.
2012​
ValkenburgNetherlandsPromising early racing when they reached the first laps (Contador, Gesink, ect). But the last 2/3 laps were disappointing. Everyone waiting for Cauberg sprint. Can not be in the shadows of the 98 version.
2013​
FlorenceItalyawful weather and some promising early action (mainly by the Italians). Splits in the peloton even before the live images. But the moment you were thinking that It could become a really epic version of the WC, the race calmed down and it was waiting for the final. Of course still some moments to remember, Nibili with too much help and Valverde/Rodriquez.
2014​
PonferradaSpainanother very typical WC. Only actions in the last lap. A lot of climbing, but all not very selective (low grades). Therefore even the last laps weren't that great.
2015​
RichmondUnited StatesI missed this one, so cannot judge
2016​
DohaQatarNot as bad as expected with the early action in the wind. But after that is was a borefest till the last lap. Weird tactics by the Belgiums in not trying anything from the moment the entered the local circuits.
2017​
BergenNorwayBoring race, with only action late in the race. The lap was not that inspiring neither.
2018​
InnsbruckAustriaBoring because everyone was waiting for the steep wall in the end.
2019​
HarrogateGreat Britaintogether with Oslo, 93, Valkenburg 98 and Florance 2013, probably the WC with the most horrible weather. They shortened the race, but the weather was so bad that it became still an extremely hard race. Early splits in the peloton (Gilbert), a middle part with no images because of the helicopter and an early final with MVdP, who surprisingly bonked afterwards. Maybe the race was missing some big names in the last 60 kilometers, but still a very hard an entertaining race. With surprises.
2020​
ImolaItalyvery typical and average WC, waiting for the last two laps for action. Nice last lap. Explode of the favorites only on the last climb. To simple to be really seen as a great race.
2021​
FlandersBelgiumVery good WC. 2 Surprise attacks from France from far out. Interesting groups early on the move, with great riders in it. Only critics could maybe be that Alaphillipe's final atack was almost imediately decisive. And the tension was gone. But the race had been that good before, that you can't complain about that.
2022​
WollongongAustraliaA very weird WC. Already starting with one of the top favorites being in jail, just hours before the start. An unexpected attack by the france, 200+ kilometers before the finish. An interesting race situations as a result. A bit of a boring middle part, but the final opened quite early. However, most top favorites never reached the front of the race anymore and the race was almost decided after this first move from far out. So, yes, I liked the chaos in the race. However, the way most teams made it 'easier' for Evenepoel to win, instead of making it him as dificult as possible was killing a bit of the excitement.
Thank you for this nice personal summary. I didn’t started watching WCs live until 2010, so interesting to get a flavor of some of the earlier ones.
 
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1993​
OsloNorwayOne of the better WC. Afwul weather all day. Lot of attacks. Very typical circuit, with 2 not even to dificult climb, became a very entertaining WC.
1994​
AgrigentoItalya bit too long ago to remember all details, but mainly a climbers race
1995​
DuitamaColombiaProbably the hardest world cup in recent history. Race of pure depletion. With the GC riders deciding the race
1996​
Lugano SwitzerlandMuseeuw with an early move. The favorites never reached the front anymore.
1997​
San SebastiánSpainWell, not so selective circuit, but still quite some good racing in the final, with a lot of tension in the final.
1998​
ValkenburgNetherlandsDefinitely one of the better world championships. Afwul weather all day. Lot's of people trying during the whole day. Big favourites already leaving from quite far out. Dutch drama with Boogerd having a flat tire in the last lap.
1999​
VeronaItalyNot really a spectacular circuit, but still an entertaining race. Early crash of the favorite. None of the Italians wanted to be to late to attack, afraid they were not allowed to race behind a team member (early Tafi attack). The Dutch team that missed an important break and Boogerd himself had to respond very early. Several importants groups trying in the end. Surprise winner.
2000​
PlouayFrancecompared to the years before it was not as entertaining. Still a quit good early break with DiLuca and Poland working somehow to bring the peloton back.
2001​
LisbonPortugalquite a boring race on a very typical world cup circuit. Italians killing each other as most particular action in the race.
2002​
ZolderBelgiumnot great at all
2003​
HamiltonCanadaOnly wathced this one partly. Very typical worlds, that only opened in the end.
2004​
VeronaItalyOnly see this one partly. As far as I remember a quite typical race, with action only late in the race by the favorites. A lot of Rabo in the finale and Freire surprisingly well uphill this race.
2005​
MadridSpainAnother boring WC. It was waiting till very late in the race, before the Spanish team tried something and opened the finale. Last 60km not too bad.
2006​
SalzburgAustriaThe Italians tried several times on the 2 small hills, to make it at least a little bit selective. But what I remember it was a boring race.
2007​
StuttgartGermanyQuite some good racing. Various groups tried. Favorites wait for the last laps. Good, but also nothing special that made it a memorable edition.
2008​
VareseItalySomewhat comparable to this years race in the sense that the favorites never really entered in the race. Outsiders already made the move 60-70 before the finish and the favorites never saw the front of the race anymore.
2009​
Mendrisio SwitzerlandQuite a good race. Some interesting groups that tried during the last laps.
2010​
GeelongAustraliaAs far as I remember the Belgiums made the race quite hard and Gilbert was really impacient and tried a few laps to early. Not a bad race at all. However, the sprint in the end was maybe a bit of a deception as the race deserved a more selective end.
2011​
CopenhagenDenmarkI wasted some hours of my live here watching this.
2012​
ValkenburgNetherlandsPromising early racing when they reached the first laps (Contador, Gesink, ect). But the last 2/3 laps were disappointing. Everyone waiting for Cauberg sprint. Can not be in the shadows of the 98 version.
2013​
FlorenceItalyawful weather and some promising early action (mainly by the Italians). Splits in the peloton even before the live images. But the moment you were thinking that It could become a really epic version of the WC, the race calmed down and it was waiting for the final. Of course still some moments to remember, Nibili with too much help and Valverde/Rodriquez.
2014​
PonferradaSpainanother very typical WC. Only actions in the last lap. A lot of climbing, but all not very selective (low grades). Therefore even the last laps weren't that great.
2015​
RichmondUnited StatesI missed this one, so cannot judge
2016​
DohaQatarNot as bad as expected with the early action in the wind. But after that is was a borefest till the last lap. Weird tactics by the Belgiums in not trying anything from the moment the entered the local circuits.
2017​
BergenNorwayBoring race, with only action late in the race. The lap was not that inspiring neither.
2018​
InnsbruckAustriaBoring because everyone was waiting for the steep wall in the end.
2019​
HarrogateGreat Britaintogether with Oslo, 93, Valkenburg 98 and Florance 2013, probably the WC with the most horrible weather. They shortened the race, but the weather was so bad that it became still an extremely hard race. Early splits in the peloton (Gilbert), a middle part with no images because of the helicopter and an early final with MVdP, who surprisingly bonked afterwards. Maybe the race was missing some big names in the last 60 kilometers, but still a very hard an entertaining race. With surprises.
2020​
ImolaItalyvery typical and average WC, waiting for the last two laps for action. Nice last lap. Explode of the favorites only on the last climb. To simple to be really seen as a great race.
2021​
FlandersBelgiumVery good WC. 2 Surprise attacks from France from far out. Interesting groups early on the move, with great riders in it. Only critics could maybe be that Alaphillipe's final atack was almost imediately decisive. And the tension was gone. But the race had been that good before, that you can't complain about that.
2022​
WollongongAustraliaA very weird WC. Already starting with one of the top favorites being in jail, just hours before the start. An unexpected attack by the france, 200+ kilometers before the finish. An interesting race situations as a result. A bit of a boring middle part, but the final opened quite early. However, most top favorites never reached the front of the race anymore and the race was almost decided after this first move from far out. So, yes, I liked the chaos in the race. However, the way most teams made it 'easier' for Evenepoel to win, instead of making it him as dificult as possible was killing a bit of the excitement.
I started watching around the same era, and only vaguely remember Ronse 1988 and Utsunomiya 1990. I omissed Plouay 2000, Madrid 2005 and Varese 2008 (I blame the lack of good internet while travelling, in those times).

I vividly remember (as fun to watch World's, not necessarily the best editions but just vivid memories):
1994 Agrigento. Great if you want to see Roman temples. The rise of Luc Leblanc and Richard Virenque.
1995 Duitama. I remember I had to stay up long for seeing the finish on that one. I hated to see Olano win, I really wanted Pantani. I also remember Danny Nelissen winning in the amateur's race when this was still a thing.
1996 Lugano. Ofcourse I remember this, being a Belgian.
1998 Valkenburg. Whenever I see spinergy wheels, I think back at this race, with Camenzind in Mapei colors, a Colnago C40 and those wheels...
1999 Verona. VDB. It turned out a deal was made with Jan Ullrich that, if VDB helped him in the Vuelta, Ulrich would pave the way in the world's. When Ullrich accellerated, he expected he was launching VDB, but he didn't know about VDB's broken scaphoid bones earlier in the race.
2007 Stuttgart. Mainly because of the commotion around Bettini vs. the German doping-chasing press.
2009 Mendrisio. A monster Cancellara trying everything but in the end, he had to face the fact that showing off his shape would result in all other riders in that group looking at him to chase back attacks.
2013 Florence. I found this one pretty exciting and enjoyed the rivalry between Rodriguez and Valverde. I wish Nibali or Rodriguez would have won this one.
2016 Doha. That crosswind action was truly fantastic. Some of the best images I have ever seen in a World's. They first had a headwind, then they took a 90 degree curve with full on tail wind from the back left. They got up to speeds of 70K /hr on the flat...! Next they had another 90 degree with back right tailwind, and that stretch was not very wide. Chaos all around. Loved that part. The local circuits were a bit of a borefest though.
2019 Harrogate. The one that MvdP should have won.
2021 Flanders. A very good World's overall, with Belgium getting overexcited and the most massive crowds we will ever get to see on a circuit.
2022 Wollongong. The rockpools. The watchtower. The uniqueness of the winner finishing with this big of a time gap after such a long solo. I am happy this occurred at least once in my lifetime, because in general, the World's is mostly limited to last / penultimate lap action.
 
2008​
VareseItalySomewhat comparable to this years race in the sense that the favorites never really entered in the race. Outsiders already made the move 60-70 before the finish and the favorites never saw the front of the race anymore.
2020​
ImolaItalyvery typical and average WC, waiting for the last two laps for action. Nice last lap. Explode of the favorites only on the last climb. To simple to be really seen as a great race.
2021​
FlandersBelgiumVery good WC. 2 Surprise attacks from France from far out. Interesting groups early on the move, with great riders in it. Only critics could maybe be that Alaphillipe's final atack was almost imediately decisive. And the tension was gone. But the race had been that good before, that you can't complain about that.
2022​
WollongongAustraliaA very weird WC. Already starting with one of the top favorites being in jail, just hours before the start. An unexpected attack by the france, 200+ kilometers before the finish. An interesting race situations as a result. A bit of a boring middle part, but the final opened quite early. However, most top favorites never reached the front of the race anymore and the race was almost decided after this first move from far out. So, yes, I liked the chaos in the race. However, the way most teams made it 'easier' for Evenepoel to win, instead of making it him as dificult as possible was killing a bit of the excitement.
First of all, thanks a lot for that cool list. :)

I must admit that while I thought I always watched the WC, there is not much of it that I remember. What I mostly recall, is the races in bad weather. ;)

But I once found some video from the 2008 race, and I don't quite see the race as you describe it. The Italians were dominating and attacking again and again as the race came closer to the finish, and two Danes fought desperately to hang on, deservedly securing a bronze medal to Matti Breschel.

In terms of 2020: I agree. It was an alpine course, but courses like this don't necessarily make races spectacular to watch. Another similar point I remember from this race is that it's not necessarily interesting to see the usual suspects fight it out at the end.

One of the reasons why 2021 was entertaining was that the much hyped Belgians messed things up. A race like this one is not all about great moves, but also about bad decisions.

2022: The ending to this race made it a slightly disappointing WC. During the last hour, there was no uncertainty about who would win the gold, and the fight for silver and bronze ended in a very embarassing way - wrong decisions can be cool, but pure stupidity is a pain to watch with so much at stake.
 
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how soon do you expect them to be considered equal in prestige?
In a couple of years. Maybe the UCI will react to the criticism and change a thing here and there. That will postpone the effect a little.

But I think it's a good thing in general that the sporting organisation can affect the way the teams prioritize the various races. It's comparable to the Nation's League in football. Before, the big teams didn't really care about friendlies and all that. But because there are advantages if your team does well in the Nation's League, it has become a success within a very short time. Incentive is everything.
 
I'm just more intelligent than the usual cycling fan - it's as simple as that.
U either work for whoever organises GP Montreal or you are urska zigart or pogacars childhood coach.

In all seriousness declaring your own superiority in intelligence anonymously on the Internet is quite funny, especially on such a non-intellectual topic .

Let's have a fans vote, who is more intelligent, Ilmaestro99 or Denskebjerg!!!
 
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U either work for whoever organises GP Montreal or you are urska zigart or pogacars childhood coach.

In all seriousness declaring your own superiority in intelligence anonymously on the Internet is quite funny, especially on such a non-intellectual topic .

Let's have a fans vote, who is more intelligent, Ilmaestro99 or Denskebjerg!!!
You already got a bad start with misspelling his name.

I think this deserves a little bit of a campaign before we reach an election day.
 
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What to remember from this World Championship besides Remco special win
-Birds
-Meghan Tatt ?, Tott?
-Really bad TV-coverage
-Even worse Women Tactis
-Strange French Tactics
-Jail
 

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