Time trials at next year's UCI Road World Championships will be historic for the sport ©Getty Images

The elite men's and women's time trials at next year's International Cycling Union (UCI) Road World Championships in Wollongong in Australia will be held on the same day, course and over the same distance for the first time.

In a statement announcing the move, the UCI said it is "in line with the UCI’s priority of promoting gender equality".

Both races are due to take place on September 18, on the first day of the Championships in the Australian coastal city.

At last year's World Championships in Flanders, the women's time trial was staged over 30.3 kilometres - 10km less than the men's elite race.

The time trials for all categories at the event in Wollongong will be raced on an urban circuit.

Road races are also on the schedule for the Championships and are set to be held on the weekend of September 24 and 25.

Australia has imposed some of the tightest and strictest COVID-19 border controls in the world, which have prevented the UCI from visiting Wollongong to inspect preparations for the event.

Final details for the Championships are due to be confirmed in the first quarter of 2022, the UCI said.

"After five years in Europe, the UCI dearly wanted to see its UCI Road World Championships organised on another continent," said UCI President David Lappartient. 

"After Richmond in 2015 and Doha in 2016, I am delighted that Wollongong was chosen to host for our leading annual event in 2022. 

"This marks a return to Oceania, indeed to Australia, 12 years after the UCI Road World Championships in Melbourne and Geelong in 2010.

"All conditions must be met to ensure athletes can compete to their best and offer the public a fantastic show. 

"I know Wollongong will meet our expectations. 

"This UCI Bike City has proven many times its commitment to providing cyclists of all levels the best infrastructures possible.

"Although the COVID-19 pandemic has limited our ability to visit Wollongong to date, the UCI looks forward to visiting in the first quarter of 2022 to meet the people implicated in the organisation of this event, to finalise the planning with the Organising Committee and confirm all the details of the competition, which will then be communicated to the whole international cycling community.”