Routes have been revealed for this year's UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong ©Getty Images

Routes for this year's International Cycling Union (UCI) Road World Championships in Wollongong have been revealed, and have been billed as "tough, technical and ambitious" by the International Federation's President David Lappartient.

The men's and women's elite road races include a remote start in Helensburgh, run along the coast and features the 8.7 kilometres Mount Keira climb at an average five per cent gradient.

The Sea Cliff Bridge is among the landmarks on the route.

A city loop circuit in Wollongong includes 33 corners and the 1.1km Mount Pleasant climb at an average 7.7 per cent gradient.

The men's race includes 12 laps of the city circuit for a total length of 266.9km with 3,945 metres of elevation, and the women's six laps for a 164.3km route with 2,433m elevation.

A UCI technical delegation had last month travelled to the Australian city and reviewed the course, with details confirmed at a virtual press conference today.

Australia's borders opened fully to travellers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the first time in almost two years on February 21.

Wollongong 2022 chief executive Stu Taggart said the Road World Championships had served as a "north star to look forward to" for the Organising Committee when Australia was faced with some of the world's toughest coronavirus countermeasures.

Despite the UCI's delegation only being able to travel to Australia in February, French official Lappartient, who has led the UCI since 2017 and was elected as an International Olympic Committee member last month, claimed that he had no concerns over international travel permitting the Championships to take place.

"Not specifically," he said when asked if he had any fears.

"I do not panic.

"I always say that 'things will happen', do not worry.

UCI President David Lappartient said he was
UCI President David Lappartient said he was "never really worried" about restrictions on travel to Australia ©Getty Images

"I met last summer during the Summer Olympic Games with the Federal Minister of Sport, and we had a discussion around this, and he said 'don't worry', in September 2022 we will be able to welcome you.

"There will be some stages in between, we were in July last year, but sure we will progressively open, and for this we need a strong level of vaccination.

"We need to have coordination worldwide, so I was never really worried about the situation, and I congratulate all the Australian authorities for the excellent job they are doing in facing the COVID crisis, but of course we have to follow the rules, to follow the regulations and the laws in Australia."

The UCI President is also pleased with the courses set to be in place at the Road World Championships.

"The UCI delegation that visited Wollongong in February is very excited about the tough, technical and ambitious courses designed by the Organising Committee in partnership with the UCI," Lappartient said.

"These courses will attract the world's top riders to Wollongong, all eager to be the athlete who triumphs in conditions that really test their skills and ability.

"The courses have also been designed to create special experiences for spectators, with lots of activity focused around the Wollongong city centre, where the riders will pass by multiple times. 

"Fans will be able to witness the critical moments unfold against the backdrop of a quintessential Australian beach and the beautiful escarpment."

He summarised during the press conference: "We can have a lot of riders for both men and women able to win the race.

"It will be a kind of circuit where of course it's a long race, it will be a tough one when you see the elevation, but you also need to be good in descent, because the speed will be close to 100 kilometres per hour."

The city loop circuit in Wollongong features 33 corners and a 1.1km Mount Pleasant climb ©2022 UCI Road World Championships Wollongong
The city loop circuit in Wollongong features 33 corners and a 1.1km Mount Pleasant climb ©2022 UCI Road World Championships Wollongong

The Wollongong 2022 race director Scott Sunderland added: "Many people have a perception that Australia is flat, open and all about the ocean - in Wollongong, there are all the elements that make road cycling dynamic and difficult, from the Mount Keira climb through the escarpment to the urban ascent up Mount Pleasant.

"We're going to see the riders really testing their strategic and athletic capabilities as they navigate the Wollongong City Circuit and Time Trial courses, which will be spectacular viewing for the on-ground crowds and broadcast viewers.

"If you think you know Wollongong and Australia, think again.

"The 2022 UCI Road World Championships will separate the challengers from the champions and put our coastal city on the map for fans worldwide."

The first scheduled events of the UCI Road World Championships are the women's and men's elite time trials on September 18, which are to be held over the same distance of 34.2km for the same time.

Women's under-23 titles in the road race and time trials have also been created for the Championships in Wollongong, which according to Lappartient will enable the UCI to reach "complete gender equality regarding the number of titles".

From 2022 until 2024, medals are set to be awarded to the top-performing athletes in the under-23 age bracket in the women's race, before a stand-alone event is due to begin from the 2025 World Championships in Rwanda's capital Kigali.

A men's under-23 individual time trial is scheduled for September 19, followed by the junior time trials on September 20 and the team time trail mixed relay a day later.

Road races are set to begin in the men's junior and under-23 category on September 23, followed by the women's junior and elite events on September 24 and the men's elite road race on the final day of the Championships on September 25.

Australia last staged the UCI Road World Championships in Geelong in 2010.