The organization of the World Cycling Championships is taking shape in Annecy, even if we still know little about its outlines. On the other hand, the Department assured that these Worlds would be “a reference in ecological matters” and that only one building would be integrated.
“We will make these Worlds a sporting and popular success“, had welcomed Martial Saddler, President of the Departmental Council of Haute-Savoie, son the stage of the congressInternational Cycling Union (UCI), Thursday, September 22.
The application, submitted with the support of the region last February, was accepted that day: it is indeed Haute-Savoie which organizes the World Cycling Championships from September 11 to 26, 2027.
The last time France organized the World Cycling Championships was more than twenty years ago, in Plouay, Brittany. France and Haute-Savoie were chosen unanimously, facing their main rival, the Netherlands, an attribution moreover reported …. at the Elysée.
In addition to mountain biking, BMX or track events, the highlight of the arrival of road racing will take place in Sallanches, as in 1980 and 1964. Bernard Hinault, who won the title of world champion in Sallanches in 1980, is the ambassador of the French and Haute-Savoie bid to organize the 2027 Super Worlds of cycling.
If the 2027 World Cycling Championships already have their banner displayed in front of the Annecy prefecture, their organization is not unanimous, disputed, both in the associative environment than within the political class. The event involves the construction of a velodrome which alone would cost at least 50 million euros.
Opponents have argued that this velodrome project, “extremely depreciated”could be incompatible with town planning rules and that the organization of the event by the department “is contrary to the requirements of sustainable development and the limitation of greenhouse gas emissions.” They filed a complaint. They were dismissed by the administrative court of Grenoble
Three elected members of the county council voted against this project, conditional on the construction of a velodrome to host the track cycling events.
Virginie Duby-Muller, departmental councilor (LR), is one of the elected officials opposed to the project: “For an event that will last two weeks, it is not useful to build such equipment in Haute-Savoie, which will require a large surface area and a significant cost. And which will have a high operating cost paid by the community“.
During a press conference this Friday, September 30 at the Department of Haute-Savoie in Annecy, Martial Saddier, the president, wanted to give some figures illustrating the extent of this event.
The Cycling World Championships, it’s 11 000 athletes, 1.5 billion viewers, 202 nations represented. It is the third sporting event in the world after the Summer Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.
In 2023 there will be 13 world championships at the same time (road, track, MTB, BMX freestyle, BMX racing, trial) in Glasgow, Scotland.
But in 2027, there will be 19 world championships at the same time (the same ones which will be added 6 events: gravel, enduro, pump track, junior track, cycling esport and polo-bike) ”100% of the events will take place in Haute-Savoie“, according to David Lappartient, president of the UCI.
There will be a building, the only construction for these worlds
Nicolas Rubin, vice-president of the department announced it this morning: “there will be a building, it will be the only construction for these worlds 2027.” It will be a multi-sports and cultural activity complex, with a footprint of 18 000 m², in which case a BMX track and pump-track will be backed up
It will include a performance hall of 10 000 places, a central multi-sports area, a wall and a climbing block, a 250-meter cycle track approved by the UCI.
Martial Saddier, president of the department? wanted to reassure: ”We have heard the warning signs about the future of the management of this equipment. It is the department that integrated and will manage. It is a public construction subject to public procurement procedures.”
And to detail the amount of the project:
- multi-activity building: 44 million euros
- outdoor facilities (BMX track, pump-track and car park): 3 million euros
- climbing wall and block 3 million euros
- design and contingencies 12 million euros
- total actual cost: 62 million euros taking into account the increase in materials
Michel Callot, president of the FFC, defended the construction of BMX tracks and a velodrome: “CWe’ve been trying to bring out a velodrome in this region for more than 20 years. Track cycling and BMX is one of the federation’s most medal-winning disciplines.”. He believes that the “Aura region is a geographical area in great deficit of major sports facilities”.
The department assuresthat it will show sobriety and will make it a reference in terms of ecology: accepting carbon neutrality, water saving, air quality…”
And Lionel Tardy, vice-president of the department, to add: “this event must make it possible to accelerate the policy in favor of cycling. The goal is to make Haute-Savoie the first cycling department in France”.
At this stage, only two official sites are known: the road race in Sallanches and the holding of the UCI Congress at RochExpo (La Roche-sur-Foron).