The Cycling World Championships, which begin in Glasgow tomorrow, will, according to the Chair of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships board and Director of Events at Visit Scotland, leave a lasting legacy across Scotland. 

Paul Bush is optimistic that the event, which incorporates, for the first time ever, 13 World Championships with over 200 world titles on the line, will not only be a success in itself but will also have a long-term impact, something that has been all too hard for major sporting events to achieve in the past. 

“From the outset, we turned the traditional event delivery model on its head and put our policy ambitions for cycling in Scotland at the centre of our decision-making process,” says Bush of these World Championships.   

“The goal has always been not only to create a spectacular event but also moments which inspire and connect people and provide policy impacts.” 

“The Championships aim to maximise impact and opportunity for all, providing an ideal platform to communicate purpose-led strategies of positive behavioural and meaningful societal change at scale.” 

Many of Scotland, GB and the world’s very best riders will be on show over the eleven days of the Championships which, although primarily contested in Glasgow, will also see events taking place across Scotland, including in Stirling, Edinburgh, Fife, Tweed Valley and Fort William. 

But it’s the impact this event can have on the next generation that is of major interest to Bush, who is a former chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland. 

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And while leaving a long-term legacy is notoriously tricky for any major sporting event, Bush is hopeful these World Championships can have a decent stab at it, despite the challenges the event faced in the planning stages. 

“Initiatives such as the EventScotland/SportScotland Community Cycling Fund, Scottish Cycling’s Rock up & Ride programme, the Learning Through Cycling Pack and SportScotland’s £8 million investment in community cycling facilities are already starting to change the cycling landscape in Scotland as well as inspiring a life-long love of cycling for all ages,” he says.  

“Of course, planning and delivering an event of this scale has not been without its own challenges – the biggest one being the pandemic which forced us to think differently and innovate during periods of lockdown.   

“However, with every challenge comes opportunity and we were able to benefit from the surge and interest from people cycling as a result of restrictions. 

"So now the warm-up is complete and it’s time for Scotland to host the main event.”