The wait is now over… only a few days remain until the big event with the Elite ROAD, TRACK, MTB and BMX European Championships taking place from 2 to 12 August in Glasgow (Great Britain).
With 30 titles at stake and over 800 competitors, cycling will be one of the major sports at this multi-sports event that will also award over these 11 days European titles in Gymnastics, Swimming, Rowing, Triathlon, Golf and Athletics (the last discipline will be held in Berlin).
With a potential TV audience of 1.03 billion throughout Europe, the Glasgow events will be under the spotlight and have wide TV coverage on unencrypted channels such as the BBC, all over the continent, thanks to the partnership with the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), reaching an even bigger audience thanks to the digital channels.
As far as cycling is concerned, all the races organised promise to be highly technical in view of the riders taking part.
The programme will begin with the Track races that will be held in the modern Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Emirates Arena in Glasgow from 2 to 7 August. The British team will be the team to beat, as among the competitors registered are top names such as the Team Pursuit Olympic gold medallists, Ed Clancy and Steven Burke, Jason Kenny, winner of six Olympic gold medals in his career, three of which in Rio (Sprint, Team Sprint and Keirin) and Philip Hindes (gold medallists in London 2012 and Rio 2016 in the Team Sprint). In the Women’s events, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald winners in Rio of the Team Pursuit with Laura Kenny who won a total of six Olympic titles throughout her career. Among the riders expected will be the Omnium Olympic gold medallists, the Italian, Elia Viviani, who will also compete in the Road race, the winner of the gold medal in Keirin in Rio 2016, Elis Ligtlee (Netherlands) and the multiple World Champions Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) and Miriam Welte (Germany), Team Sprint gold medallist at London 2012.
The Road races will take place on a fairly difficult city circuit in the Scottish city centre with the Women’s race on Sunday 5 August, the Men’s race on Sunday 12 August, and the Time-Trial race on Wednesday 8 August.
In the Men’s category, the current European champion, the Norwegian Alexander Kristoff, will have to defend his title won last year in Herning (Denmark). He will face major opponents such as the triple world champion, winner of the first European Elite title in 2016, the Slovakian Peter Sagan, the Olympic Champion Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium) and the sprinters Elia Viviani (Italy), Nacer Bouhanni (France), Mark Cavendish (Great-Britain), and the Germans André Greipel and John Degenkolb. Others to watch out for are the Belgian rider Wout van Aert, winner of the last three Cyclo-Cross World Championships and another all terrain champion the Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel, who won this season not only the Cyclo-Cross European title but also the National Championships in Road, Cyclo-Cross and MTB, a speciality which he will also be riding in Glasgow. In the Time-Trial, as well as the current European champion Victor Campenaerts (Belgium), all eyes will be on the former World Champion Vasil Kirienka (Belarus), the Swiss Stefan Kung, the British rider Alex Dowsett and the Irishman Ryan Mullen.
The multiple Olympic World and European Champion Marianne Vos will be one of the favourites in the Road race. The reigning European Champion will lead the Dutch national team which will also included the Olympic gold medallist in Rio Anna van der Breggen, winner of the first European title in 2016 in Plumelec, the World Champion Chantal Blaak and Ellen van Dijk, first last year in the Time-Trial.
Among the other favourites will undoubtedly be the young Dane Pernille Mathiesen, and the Brit Danielle Rowe (winner of an Olympic gold medal and three Track World Championships throughout her career) and the Pole Katarzyna Niewiadoma.
Tuesday 7 August the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails will host the MTB Cross-Country events. Among those competing in the Men’s category will be the Swiss, Florian Vogel, 2017 European Champion, the London Olympic Champion (silver medallist in Rio), the Czech Jaroslav Kulhavý and the Dutch talent Mathieu van der Poel. In the Women’s events, we can expect a particularly thrilling race with big riders such as the World Champion Jolanda Neff (Switzerland), the former World Champion Maja Włoszczowska
(Poland), the multiple World Champion and former Olympic Champion Gunn Rita Dahle (Norway) and the French rider Pauline Ferrand Prevot.
BMX races will take place at the Glasgow BMX Centre on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 August with among others the current World Champion Sylvain André (France), the Swiss Cedric Butti, the Dutch rider Kevin van Groenendaal, and the Frenchman Joris Daudet who will have to defend his European title won last year in Bordeaux, as will Laura Smulders in the Women’s category, where the young Bethany Shriever will be defending the title for her country.
Rocco Cattaneo, President of the Union Européenne de Cyclisme : « For the Union Européenne de Cyclisme, the Glasgow European Championships are a key moment in the season and a historic event for European cycling. For two weeks, the same city will host races that will award European titles in the four Olympic disciplines: Road, Track, MTB and BMX (racing). Two years before the Olympics in Tokyo, cycling fans will be able to compare the level of European riders and those not as familiar will be able to start discovering the faces and names of potential stars of the 2020 Games.
We should remember that Europe is the historic birthplace of cycling, highlighting great talent like the young Europeans who won 14 out of the 18 gold medals in cycling at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
We are getting ready to experience this event with great enthusiasm and passion, aware that together with the organising committee we have a big responsibility but we also know that in Glasgow, thanks to the huge media impact of the event, we will see top level sporting action and not only that.
On behalf of myself and the Union Européenne de Cyclisme Management Board, I would like to thank the Glasgow 2018 European Championships and the City of Glasgow, the hosts of this major sporting event »
Here are the countries and TV channels that have included cycling in their programmes: Belgium (RTBF & VRT), Croatia (HRT), Cyprus (CyBC), Denmark (DR), Estonia (ETV), Finland (YLE), Iceland (RUV), Ireland (RTE), Netherlands (NOS), Norway (NRK), Poland (TVP), Portugal (RTP), Slovenia (RTVSLO), Spain (TVE), Sweden (SVT), Switzerland (SSR), Turkey (TRT), France (FTV), Germany (ARD & ZDF), UK (BBC), Italy (RAI), Eurosport Europe, Eurosport Pan-Asia. FloSports (USA)