Terrific atmosphere at the Road World Championships Opening Updated: 23.09.2018

Last updated on 23.09.2018

Tirol is hosting the UCI Road Cycling World Championships for the first time. Featuring: around 1,000 athletes, 500,000 spectators on the ground and over 250 million TV viewers in 150 countries.

It all kicked off on Saturday afternoon with a bike parade through Innsbruck to the finish area in front of Hofburg Palace. Whether on road bike, mountain bike or e-bike – many Tiroleans turned up to welcome this mega event. A number of cycling enthusiasts even dressed up for the special occasion in outfits dating back to the 1920s.

U-23 riders highly motivated

It is going to be a special race on Monday for Austrian riders, Patrick Gamper and Markus Wilderer, with the U-23 men’s Individual Time Trial. “I grew up and went to school here, and now everyone is turning up to watch the World Championships. I am looking forward to this more than anything else”, says Gamper. “It could be windy out there on Monday. But we can’t change that and just have to wait and see how it goes”, adds Markus Wilderer. Both are keen to prove their prowess in front of as many spectators as possible.

Innsbruck in a party mood

Sandra Pires, herself an enthusiastic racing cyclist, created a terrific atmosphere at the opening ceremony with her performance of “Top of the World,” the official Road World Championships anthem for 2018. Spectators were then kept entertained by local bands as the opening ceremony wound down to a close.

Afterwards, there was a “get together” at “Fischerhäusl.” Josef Geisler (Deputy State Governor and Minister of Sports), Georg Willi (Mayor of Innsbruck), Georg Spazier (CEO Innsbruck-Tirol Rad WM 2018 GmbH), Thomas Rohregger (World Championship Ambassador) and Florian Phleps (Tirol Werbung Executive) cut the cake in celebration of the Road World Championships Opening. “We are all eagerly awaiting the starting signal for the first race and are delighted to be able to organise a sporting event of this magnitude,” says Florian Phelps.

Minister of Sports, Josef Geisler, addressed those celebrating at the Fischerhäusl: “This is a wonderful and rare opportunity to showcase our homeland. I would like to thank all those who helped bring the Road World Championships to Tirol, as well as all those involved in organizing the event.”