World Road Cycling Championships Would Showcase Richmond to Millions Worldwide

By Cam Martin 

Richmond, Virginia, is one of two finalists — along with Oman – to host the 2015 World Road Cycling Championships, a nine-day event that city officials say could bring more than 500,000 people and $135.3 million in economic benefits to the area — while showcasing the city to millions of television viewers worldwide.

A delegation from Richmond is arriving Monday at the Swiss headquarters of Union Cyclist Internationale, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The delegation will hold work sessions with UCI officials Tuesday and Wednesday to get a better feel for what the governing body wants to see in the bid, said Tim Miller, executive director of Richmond 2015, Once the group returns to Richmond, it will take about month and a half to complete the bid. UCI officials are expected to visit Richmond later this month.The official presentation to UCI will be made in August. The winning bid will be announced in late September at this year’s world championship in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Studies show the race, which is estimated to cost $12.2 million and would be subsidized in part by corporate sponsors, would be a huge windfall for the city.

According to the study, which was based in part on the number of attendees at previous world road cycling championships, Richmond would draw more than 1,000 athletes and more than 452,000 spectators from about 70 countries. A large impact would come from the exposure Richmond would receive because of interest in the race. About 500 media outlets from 35 countries are expected to cover the races. The coverage is expected to generate in excess of 400 hours of television watched by 300 million viewers, the study found.