World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has revealed that the 2014 UCI Road World Championships will almost certainly to be held in Ponferrada, Spain, located in the province of Leon in the northwest of the country.
Ponferrada regularly hosts stage starts and finishes of the Vuelta a Espana, with Stage 13 of this year’s race due to end there on 2 September.
The town, which is on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and is home to a 12th Century Templar castle, is completely surrounded by mountains, which opens up some intriguing route possibilities for the race.
In a statement, the UCI said: “The file received from the city of Ponferrada, in Spain, has been judged the best with a view to awarding the organisation of the 2014 UCI Road World Championships.
“The decision taken at this stage of the evaluation procedure comes after a rigorous assessment by the relevant UCI services of all the elements – particularly sporting and economic – of the different candidatures.
“As a result, the UCI has decided to propose only the candidature of Ponferrada to its Management Committee, at its meeting in Copenhagen (Denmark) in September, for the awarding of the 2014 edition of the World Championships.”
The UCI added that Ponferrada was also being considered to host the 2015 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships.
This year, the UCI World Road Championships are being held in Denmark after last year’s event in Geelong and Melbourne, Australia. That was the first time they had been held outside Europe since Hamilton, Canada, hosted the races in 2003.
Next year, the event will be held in Limburg in The Netherlands, followed by the Italian city of Florence in 2013, with Ponferrada an unsuccessful candidate to host that year’s championships.
The UCI has said that only applications from potential host cities outside Europe will be accepted, and it has confirmed that so far the Sultanate of Oman and the city of Richmond, Virginia have put themselves forward.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.