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Richmond worlds bid to be decided

1994 Tour DuPont, George Hincapie
George Hincapie attacks on Richmond’s Church Hill during the 1994 Tour Du Pont, won by Viatcheslav Ekimov.

COPENHAGEN (VN) — American fans will know by Thursday at the latest if the United States will be hosting the 2015 world road cycling championships.

The UCI management board is set to vote in proposals from Richmond, Virginia, and Oman during meetings that run Wednesday into Thursday morning.

UCI press attache Enrico Carpani told VeloNews that the news will be released as soon as the vote is taken, which could come as early as Wednesday.

USA Cycling officials on the ground in Copenhagen said they’re hopeful that America can play host to the world championships for the first time since 1986, when Colorado Springs, Colorado, hosted the competition.

“It would be fantastic to have a world championship back in America. It would be so great for the sport,” USA Cycling’s director of athletics Jim Miller told VeloNews. “It’s awesome to have cyclocross worlds, but to have road worlds, too, it would be over the top.”

USA Cycling has been working closely with Richmond organizers to present the U.S. bid.

Miller said having the road worlds back in the United States would mean that he could field the strongest-possible squad for the road race and time trials. Many of the top elite men pros are often absent for the late-season world’s competition, but they would be drawn toward competing on home roads.

“Sean Petty and Steve Johnson have spent a lot of time with the organizing committee. They’ve been pushing for it. They’re very keen to see it come back to America,” Millar said. “I am sure we could pull together a great team.”

Oman is not seen by many as an ideal candidate, but the connection between the Arab nation and the Amaury Sport Organisation brings added heft to its candidacy. Tour de France owner ASO runs and organizes the Tour of Oman, which started in 2010.

The UCI is also set to confirm that Ponferrada, Spain, will host the 2014 worlds. That move will be little more than a formality, because the city in northwest Spain was the only bid to host that year’s worlds.

World championships are already confirmed for Valkenburg, Holland, in 2012 and Florence, Italy, in 2013.

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