For the city of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health, months of planning and preparation came to an end the evening of Friday, Sept. 18, when the Opening Ceremony of the UCI Road World Championships kicked off at Brown’s Island, less than two miles from VCU’s Monroe Park and MCV campuses. During the festivities, the VCU Commonwealth Singers joined forces with the Richmond Symphony to perform Beethoven’s Ninth, a piece heralding and celebrating the brotherhood of man, as the ceremony’s finale.
After a day of training on Saturday, the first official races took place on Sunday, with the U.S.-registered BMC Racing Team taking the gold in the Men’s Team Time Trial and the German-registered Velocio-SRAM team winning the Women’s Team Time Trial. The city and campus alike buzzed with talk of the bike race and waited to see just what it would mean to have such a high-caliber, international sporting event speed right through the streets of Richmond.
One of the first physical signs at VCU that the bike race was approaching was the construction of two pedestrian bridges on the Monroe Park Campus.
VCU Health, the exclusive medical provider for the event, set up medical tents at various locations to treat any injuries cyclists may experience, from road rash to broken bones.
Team time trial training and competition
Training for the Men’s and Women’s Team Time Trials took place on Saturday and was followed by the real competition on Sunday. The course started at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and cut through VCU’s Monroe Park Campus on Franklin Street before ending downtown on Broad Street a few blocks from the MCV Campus. VCU student ambassadors were on hand to answer questions and provide assistance to visiting spectators.
All over town, the city of Richmond spruced itself up in time for the race, whether it was freshly repaved streets or houses proudly displaying UCI banners and colors.