UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race
|Date||End of season|
|Editions||82 (as of 2015)|
|First winner||Alfredo Binda (ITA)|
|Most recent||Peter Sagan (SVK)|
The UCI Road World Championships, often referred to as the World Cycling Championships, is the annual world championship for bicycle road racing organized by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The UCI Road World Championships include championships for elite men's road race and individual time trial. In addition, women's world championship events are held for the same events in the same manner ; under-23 world championship for cyclists under the age of 23 years; junior world championships for cyclists under the age of 19 years.
- The winner of the UCI Road World Championships road race is considered the World Cycling Champion (or World Road Cycling Champion) and earns the right to wear the Rainbow Jersey for a full year in road race or stage events. The event is a single 'mass start' road race, the winner being the first across the line at the completion of the full race distance.
- The winner of the UCI Road World Championships Time Trial is considered the World Time Trial Champion and earns the right to wear the Rainbow Jersey for a full year in individual time trial (ITT) events or stages (for example, the prologue and ITT stages at the Tour de France or other stage races).
Both the road race and individual time trial events are competed by riders organized by national cycling teams as opposed to commercially sponsored or trade teams, which is the standard in professional cycling.
The first professional World Cycling Championship took place in 1927 at the Nürburgring in Germany and was won by Alfredo Binda, of Italy. In recent years, the race is held towards the end of the European season, usually following the Vuelta a España. The event can be held over either a relatively flat course which favors cycling sprinters or over a hilly course which favors more of a climbing specialist or all-round type of cyclist.
Only five cyclists have successfully defended their title (three Belgians and two Italians): Georges Ronsse (Belgium, 1928–29); Rik Van Steenbergen (Belgium, 1956–57); Rik van Looy (Belgium, 1960–61); Gianni Bugno (Italy, 1991–92); Paolo Bettini (Italy, 2006–07). Spaniard Alejandro Valverde has the most total medals by any one individual with six, although he has never won the rainbow jersey (2 silver 2003, 2005 and 4 bronze - 2006, 2012–14).
Most successful riders
|Rank||Name and country||Gold||Silver||Bronze||Total||Winning years|
|1||Alfredo Binda (ITA)||3||0||1||4||1927, 1930, 1932|
|Rik Van Steenbergen (BEL)||3||0||1||4||1949, 1956, 1957|
|Óscar Freire (ESP)||3||0||1||4||1999, 2001, 2004|
|4||Eddy Merckx (BEL)||3||0||0||3||1967, 1971, 1974|
|5||Rik van Looy (BEL)||2||2||0||4||1960, 1961|
|Greg LeMond (USA)||2||2||0||4||1983, 1989|
|7||Freddy Maertens (BEL)||2||1||0||3||1976, 1981|
|Paolo Bettini (ITA)||2||1||0||3||2006, 2007|
|9||Georges Ronsse (BEL)||2||0||1||3||1928, 1929|
|Gianni Bugno (ITA)||2||0||1||3||1991, 1992|
|11||Briek Schotte (BEL)||2||0||0||2||1948, 1950|
|12||Learco Guerra (ITA)||1||2||0||3||1931|
|Francesco Moser (ITA)||1||2||0||3||1977|
|14||André Darrigade (FRA)||1||1||2||4||1959|
|15||Theo Middelkamp (NED)||1||1||1||3||1947|
|Ferdi Kübler (SUI)||1||1||1||3||1951|
|Felice Gimondi (ITA)||1||1||1||3||1973|
|Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)||1||1||1||3||1982|
|Moreno Argentin (ITA)||1||1||1||3||1986|
|20||Jan Janssen (NED)||1||1||0||2||1964|
|Rudi Altig (FRG)||1||1||0||2||1966|
|Vittorio Adorni (ITA)||1||1||0||2||1968|
- Spaniard Alejandro Valverde had a record six podium finishes as of 2014 (twice silver and four times bronze) but never managed to become world champion.
Medallists by nation
|2||Italy||19||20||16||55||See also: Italy at the UCI Road World Championships|
|4||Netherlands||7||4||6||17||See also: Netherlands at the UCI Road World Championships|
|7||United States||3||2||0||5||See also: United States at the UCI Road World Championships|
|8||Germany||2||7||6||15||Includes West Germany||See also: Germany at the UCI Road World Championships|
|18||Russia||0||3||1||4||Includes Soviet Union|
- "UCI Road World Championships, Men Elite - Road race" (PDF). UCI. Retrieved 21 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>