…wow, what a World Championship, a truly special one!
Please note that this is not a conventional report about the riders, results, and assessments of the event. I leave that to others. My aim is to describe the World Championship from the perspective of an artistic cycling commissar who had the privilege of stepping onto the grand stage of artistic cycling for one last time. Or should I say, the vast performance area of 11 by 14 meters with its 4 and 8-meter circles and a center point of 50 cm? To be precise, it’s the athletes who enter the performance area, and the Chief Commissar only steps onto the field in the most exceptional circumstances when there’s something extraordinary to address.
In any case, I didn’t have to step onto the performance area. Everyone knew which direction to ride, and the spins were in the right place—perhaps not always in strict accordance with the rules, but on that particular field that signifies the world of indoor cycling.
The adventure of the “WM Glasgow” began for me with the UCI’s nomination, which naturally delighted me. It was clear that, as preparation for this assignment, I would serve as Chief Commissar in just about every possible competition. The task of scheduling me wasn’t difficult because I’m responsible for scheduling all the commissars in Switzerland.
Finally, it all began, and my wife Esthi and I traveled to Glasgow via Edinburgh. We spent a few days in Edinburgh to get to know the city and recover from jet lag. After all, there’s a one-hour time difference between Basel and England.
The time came, and we took the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow. As they say, significant events cast their shadows ahead. We met a volunteer on the train who was involved in the World Championship – and where else but in the Emirates Sports Hall? Joy was great when I entered the hall on the first day and crossed paths with her again.
The assignment of commissars for the preliminary rounds and finals was completed, we were ready, and it could begin. The atmosphere in the commissar team was excellent. The cooperation with the Chief Radball, the technical team, and the UCI officials worked perfectly. So, the time of the three days of the World Championship passed in the blink of an eye.
Wow, that was a World Championship, a very special one! We indoor cycling athletes were part of something great. Something really big. I think we were able to present ourselves worthy of the rest of the world and didn’t have to hide. With our performances in artistic cycling and cycle-ball, we knew how to inspire – of course, the athletes did.
I have the impression that we were also noticed by representatives of other cycling disciplines. Mr. David Lappartient, President of the UCI, visited our hall and was enthusiastic about our sport.
It was a World Championship where the family atmosphere within the indoor cycling family was somewhat lacking. There was no opening ceremony, no closing ceremony, and no banquet for indoor cycling athletes. That’s something we indoor cycling athletes have to deal with. However, I believe it’s important that we can continue to showcase our sport on this grand platform every four years. In between those four years, we celebrate our sport at the World Championships as usual. Next time in Bremen in 2024.
Now, with some distance, as I look back on my last World Championship, I believe that our team of commissars made the right decisions and the right athletes became world champions. It was also quite straightforward because all the decisions were made on that performance area of 11 by 14 meters with its 4 and 8-meter circles and a center point of 50 cm.
That particular area, which symbolizes the world of indoor cycling.
Best regards from Basel, Günter Altwegg, UCI Commissar (soon to be retired)