When a city is closed off and the streets are not used as they normally are, new possibilities emerge Huge crowds in Glasgow for the UCI Mens elite World Championships road race, 06 Aug 2023. Image: Colin Flockton / GodingImages / Shutterstock Glasgow was alive with bikes this week. The place was transformed for the UCI Cycling World Championships. There were over 2,600 competitors, all gunning for world titles. Many were in the velodrome, out in the east of the city. There were BMXers in Glasgow Green and mountain bikes down in Glentress Forest, closer to the Borders.
But it was the road racing right through the place that grabbed me. There is something phenomenal about cycling road racing, particularly at elite level. It is the link between the physical and mental, at the very extremes, that fascinates.
Watching racing, particularly up close in town and city circuits, you get a sense of the energy. They really move. There is no fear, just pace. In close quarters, for us watching, there is also anticipation. Ahead of the lead riders there is a phalanx of vehicles rushing in front – the timekeeper car, race organisers’ cars, police outriders, filming motorbikes, some other cars joining the carnival, and then the lead riders, then team cars (all electric). You can feel noise starting to bubble through the crowd as the cavalcade approaches. And then they’re gone. It’s exhilarating.
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