The Belgian region of Flanders is bidding to host the 2021 edition of the UCI Road World Championships, which will mark the centenary of the event.
The news was announced on Friday by Flemish Sports Minister Philippe Muyters, who has set aside a budget of €)3.5 million to finance
the bid, due to be submitted in June, and the hosting fee.
The Belgian cycling federation and the Flemish government are supporting the bid, as has Event Flanders, which has carried out a feasibility study into the logistical aspects.
Flemish prime minister Geert Bourgeois said: "Organising the world championship would be a great opportunity for Flanders, not only for the fans who get the chance to see the absolute best in the world at work for several days in a row, but also for the image of Flanders globally.
"The road cycling world championships is one of those sporting events that really get screened everywhere, even in the farthest corners of the world - a fantastic promotion for Flanders cycling country ."
According to the sports minister Muyters, the economic impact of hosting the world championships "is cautiously estimated at 30 million euros,"although we may be even more ambitious as a real cycling region."
First held in Copenhagen. Denmark in 1021. the UCI Road World Championships have been held in Flanders on six occasions, most recently when Zolder hosted the event in 2002.
The UCI will decide where the 2021 edition will be staged in September, during this year's world championships in Innsbruck, Austria.
Yorkshire will stage the event next year, while the 2020 host is yet to be announced.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.