The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced that the Netherlands region of Limburg will host the 2012 road world championships. The announcement came after the Management Committee of the UCI met yesterday in Lugano during the UCI Road World Championships being held in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
The nine-day event, centred on the town of Valkenburg, will add junior races and broaden the national teams structure to include men's and women's time trials for trade teams which compete year-round at races such as the Tour de France.
The Limburg bid defeated proposals from Genoa, Italy, and Hooglede, Belgium, and will be staged from September 15-23, just five weeks after the 2012 Olympic Games finish in London. Valkenburg has hosted four previous world championships, most recently in 1998.
With The Netherlands having hosted the start of this year's Vuelta, and in 2010 also playing host to the opening stages of both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, Dutch fans will be delighted at the prospect of yet another top class event coming to the country's roads.
The existing worlds format currently being held in the Swiss Alpine town of Mendrisio has six medal races, individual time trials and road races for men, women, and under-23 men, spread over five days.
UCI president Pat McQuaid told reporters: "It's a gift back to our sponsors. We're confident it will be a very good world championships."
The 2010 road worlds will be held in Melbourne and Geelong, Australia, and the 2011 event takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark.