10 make-or-break moments on the Glasgow 2018 road race routes
The routes for the Glasgow 2018 road race and time trial races have been revealed, with Europe’s top male and female road cyclists set to compete on courses throughout Glasgow city centre, East Dunbartonshire and Stirling this August.
The road races will see athletes complete a series of laps through the heart of Glasgow on Sunday 5 August (women) and Sunday 12 August (men), while challenging time trial routes will see riders race against the clock through Glasgow and surrounding areas on Wednesday 8 August.
We’ve picked out 10 make-or-break points from across the routes where races could be won or lost at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. Where will you be watching the action from?
#1 | ‘The Monster at Montrose Street’
A high point in the road race – in more ways than one. This famous/infamous hill at Montrose Street has gained something of a cult status amongst cyclists and the local student population who often have to walk its steep incline on the way to lectures. It played a starring role at the 2013 British Road Race Championships and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, when Welshman Geraint Thomas made a decisive break on the hill on his way to road race gold.
#2 – 'The Great George Street Climb'
A fantastic spot to watch the road race action from in Glasgow’s west end. With its long gradual incline and width, Great George Street will give cyclists a prime opportunity to summon some reserves of energy and push on past rivals. Whether spectators position themselves at the top of the hill or at the bottom, it’s a great place to witness some exciting cycling manoeuvres.
#3 – ‘High Street Hustle’
One of the oldest streets in Glasgow, this historic road will take centre stage once again at Glasgow 2018 as the best road cyclists on the continent compete for European glory. Coming downhill from Rottenrow, cyclists will lock their sights onto the famous Toolbooth Steeple as they speed past the crowds and onto Glasgow Green.
#4 – ‘The Tron Chicane’
The iconic church tower at St George’s Tron forms a central part of the road race route and presents a tricky little chicane for Europe’s elite cyclists. Riders will negotiate around the church before crossing Buchanan Street and down towards George Square, giving fans an opportunity to see exciting road race action in the heart of Glasgow.
#5 – ‘Gold on the Green’
Road Race/Time Trial
Glasgow Green. The finish-line setting for men's and women's road race and time trial routes and one of the most crucial points in the race. The 2013 British Road Race Championships saw Mark Cavendish take the main prize in a closely fought battle through Glasgow and - with a competitive field of cyclists set to compete in 2018 – don’t be surprised to see more tight finishes this time around. The finishing straight starts from McLennan Arch, so grab a place around there if you can.
#6 – ‘The Gardener’s Turn’
Time Trial - Men & Women
This sharp left turn at the top of Byres Road in Glasgow’s west end arrives just 1.5miles into both men’s and women’s time trial races and presents an early challenge for riders. The turn precedes a long half-mile straight flanked by Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens and Kew Terrace – a nice backdrop for cyclists to enjoy before the long climb up through Bearsden.
#7 – ‘Kick-on at Cluny Park’
Time Trial - Men & Women
After snaking through Kelvinside and west Glasgow, the men’s and women’s time trial routes crosses the River Kelvin for the second time before entering East Dunbartonshire. This short straight beside Cluny Park provides an ideal spot for spectators to gather and give the individual riders some vocal support as they prepare to kick on to start the climb towards the high point of the route.
#8 – ‘The Bardowie Dip’
Time Trial - Women
While the men continue up to Mugdock, the women’s race takes a looping right turn onto Auchenhowie Road before continuing past Rangers FC training base and onto the village of Bardowie. This is the halfway point in the women’s time trial and a crucial moment for cyclists to make gains against the clock before they begin the descent back into Glasgow.
#9 – ‘Campsie Corner’
Time Trial - Men
The men’s time trial route continues its way uphill before arriving in the village of Strathblane, Stirlingshire. Nestled in the shadows of the Campsie Fells, this point – around 10miles into the route – should give spectators a good view of the action before riders continue along the long and winding A891 towards Lennoxtown. By the time they reach the roundabout at the Kirkhouse Inn, riders will already have a good idea of how their race is going – so it’s time to kick-on or wrestle some crucial seconds back off the clock.
#5 – ‘The final push’
Time Trial - Men
With just over 2 miles to go until the finish-line at Glasgow Green both men and women riders will be starting to feel the pain. If they can dig deep and source those final drops of energy, a mile-long downhill straight through Sighthill gives riders the chance to shave some valuable seconds off the clock. They’ll need all the support they can get and spectators will have plenty of spots to choose from all the way along the straight until it dips under the M8 and onto Glasgow Green.