UCI Road World Championships – Men's road race
|Date||End of season|
|Editions||85 (as of 2018)|
|First winner||Alfredo Binda (ITA)|
|Most recent||Alejandro Valverde (ESP)|
The UCI Road World Championships Elite Men's Road Race is a one-day event for professional cyclists that takes place annually. The winner is considered the World Cycling Champion (or World Road Cycling Champion) and earns the right to wear the Rainbow Jersey for a full year in road race or stage events. The event is a single 'mass start' road race with the winner being the first across the line at the completion of the full race distance.
The road race is contested by riders organized by national cycling teams as opposed to commercially sponsored or trade teams, which is the standard in professional cycling.
The first professional World Cycling Championship took place in 1927 at the Nürburgring in Germany and was won by Alfredo Binda, of Italy. In recent years, the race is held towards the end of the European season, usually following the Vuelta a España. The event can be held over either a relatively flat course which favors cycling sprinters or over a hilly course which favors more of a climbing specialist or all-round type of cyclist.
Only six cyclists have successfully defended their title (three Belgians, two Italians and a Slovakian): Georges Ronsse (Belgium, 1928–29); Rik Van Steenbergen (Belgium, 1956–57); Rik Van Looy (Belgium, 1960–61); Gianni Bugno (Italy, 1991–92); Paolo Bettini (Italy, 2006–07) and Peter Sagan (Slovakia, 2015–17). Sagan is the only rider with three straight titles (2015-17). Spaniard Alejandro Valverde has the most total medals by any one individual with seven (1 gold 2018, 2 silver 2003, 2005 and 4 bronze - 2006, 2012–14).
Most successful riders
|Rank||Name and country||Gold||Silver||Bronze||Total||Winning years|
|1||Alfredo Binda (ITA)||3||0||1||4||1927, 1930, 1932|
|Rik Van Steenbergen (BEL)||3||0||1||4||1949, 1956, 1957|
|Óscar Freire (ESP)||3||0||1||4||1999, 2001, 2004|
|4||Eddy Merckx (BEL)||3||0||0||3||1967, 1971, 1974|
|Peter Sagan (SVK)||3||0||0||3||2015, 2016, 2017|
|6||Rik Van Looy (BEL)||2||2||0||4||1960, 1961|
|Greg LeMond (USA)||2||2||0||4||1983, 1989|
|8||Freddy Maertens (BEL)||2||1||0||3||1976, 1981|
|Paolo Bettini (ITA)||2||1||0||3||2006, 2007|
|10||Georges Ronsse (BEL)||2||0||1||3||1928, 1929|
|Gianni Bugno (ITA)||2||0||1||3||1991, 1992|
|12||Briek Schotte (BEL)||2||0||0||2||1948, 1950|
|13||Alejandro Valverde (ESP)||1||2||4||7||2018|
|14||Learco Guerra (ITA)||1||2||0||3||1931|
|Francesco Moser (ITA)||1||2||0||3||1977|
|16||André Darrigade (FRA)||1||1||2||4||1959|
|17||Theo Middelkamp (NED)||1||1||1||3||1947|
|Ferdinand Kübler (SUI)||1||1||1||3||1951|
|Felice Gimondi (ITA)||1||1||1||3||1973|
|Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)||1||1||1||3||1982|
|Moreno Argentin (ITA)||1||1||1||3||1986|
Medals per country
|7||United States (USA)||3||2||0||5|
|10||Great Britain (GBR)||2||1||0||3|
|Totals (22 nations)||85||85||85||255|
- "UCI Road World Championships, Men Elite - Road race" (PDF). UCI. Retrieved 21 September 2015.