The massive countdown screen at Glasgow Central Station says it’s not long to go until the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Road World Championships come to Glasgow on August 3.

As an amateur road cyclist I am intrigued as to what this could mean for the profile of the city, the benefits to hospitality and tourism, and the lasting impact on our economy, health and environment. The benefits of hosting this prestigious event are likely to be major and long-lasting.

The statistics are impressive. There are 13 different UCI championships taking place over eleven days, from mountain biking to track, BMX and road cycling. When you add in the para cycling, you have a truly world class event that will further reinforce Glasgow’s reputation as a global city adept at hosting complex events, as previously proven by the success of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Herald: Singers Karen Dunbar and John Barrowman perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in GlasgowSingers Karen Dunbar and John Barrowman perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow (Image: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

We are expecting around a million spectators, and with events being broadcast by 160 media outlets globally, UCI will attract many visitors and reflect a positive image of Glasgow around the world. We therefore have a massive opportunity to showcase Glasgow’s vibrant culture, rich history and stunning architecture to many potential visitors.

The city’s hospitality and tourism sector is gearing up to serve spectators in need of accommodation and refreshments. The food and drink industry will work with hospitality and tourism to ensure our guests will get a real Glasgow welcome and enjoy many of the excellent cuisines produced here, from traditional haggis with neeps and tatties to some of the world’s finest seafood, all washed down with a wee dram of Scotch.

The estimated revenue of this event is £67 million, much of which is expected to directly benefit the city of Glasgow.

I took up cycling during lockdown, and I’m not alone. Glasgow is changing, and the infrastructure such as bike lanes, bike parking and other cycling amenities being developed in preparation for UCI will leave a lasting legacy for future cyclists.

READ MORE: UCI Cycling World Championships: Full Glasgow road closures

I firmly believe this will raise the profile of all things cycling. It will make it easier and safer for residents to cycle in the future and will support plans to reduce Glasgow’s carbon footprint.

Cycling is a great form of exercise for physical and mental well-being, and a fantastic way to explore Glasgow and find beautiful parts of the city. UCI will provide inspiration for people to get active and give cycling a go.

This is particularly important given the current obesity epidemic across the UK. According to the Glasgow Indicator’s Project, almost two-thirds of adults in Greater Glasgow and Clyde are either overweight or obese, and cycling helps combat this problem.

As we proved during the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow hosts events in its unique Glaswegian style, demonstrating the vibrancy and culture of the city and the warmth of its people.

The Herald: The Glasgow BMX CentreThe Glasgow BMX Centre (Image: Craig Watson)

There will be opportunities for local residents to get involved too. Whether it's volunteering or simply cheering on the cyclists, it’s important to build a sense of pride and community in the city. It will give us all a post-pandemic boost, and is a shot in the arm for the hospitality, food and drink businesses which suffered enormously during the pandemic.

Hosting UCI is a privilege. It’s bigger than the Commonwealth games, being closer to the scale of the World Cup or the Olympics. One way everyone can get involved before the event is to take part in the 23 Million Mile Challenge with Love to Ride, which is a lot further than I normally cycle!

I have no doubt that Glasgow will put on a fantastic experience for residents, competitors and visitors. It will have a positive impact for many businesses and provides a much-needed boost for the local economy.

According to Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, the significance of Scotland hosting major events such as this "cannot be underestimated".

"The UCI cycling championships means there is a good spread of events taking place across the regions of Scotland," he said. "It also provides a media platform to showcase the many fantastic attributes that Scotland has to a global audience, which hopefully will tempt many to visit for a holiday or host their event here too.”

Stuart McCallum is a partner at RSM Glasgow