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The Crowning of Champions

The winner of the World Championships is sometimes expected, sometimes a surprise, but always worthy. Here are some highlights.

The World Championships in Qatar breaks new ground this year by being the being the first to take place in an Arab country. But the World’s has always been changing ever since it began. And Shimano has been there since the very beginning. Here is a short history of that change. 

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1921

Amateur beginnings

The first WC Road Race in history was held in Denmark and only open to amateur men. Coincidentally it was also the year that Shimano was established.

1927

World’s go professional

The first professional world championship took place in July 1927 at the Nürburgring in Germany. Italian Alfredo Binda won the professional men's race and Belgian Jean Aerts won the amateur event.

1958

Women… finally

The women's road race wasn’t introduced until 1958. The winner was Elsy Jacobs from tiny Luxembourg.

1962 - Team time trial

A men's team time trial, contested by national teams, was introduced in 1962 to bring more variety to the world’s.

1990

Japan worlds

The WC was held in Asia for the first time, in Japan - the home of Shimano - but still no Shimano winner.

1991

Shimano’s first gold

The first Shimano winner in the Men’s WC Road event was Gianni Bugno, and he did it on a bike that still had downtube shifters instead of STIs.

1994 - The races of truth

Individual time trials in all categories replaced the men's team time trial.

1995

Spanish joy in Columbia

This competition switched from a summer to an end of the season event. Abraham Olano won the men’s race in Colombia on full-Shimano equipment, and showed his stamina by winning despite having a flat tire for the final kilometer.

1996

Young men come of age

The amateur category was replaced with a category for men under-23 years old with the professional category becoming an open (later elite) category. The main Road Race was a legendary event won by Belgian Johan Museeuw.

1999

Neutral support

Shimano supported the racing with Neutral Service for the first time and has been doing it ever since.

2004

Three times a charm

In Verona, Spanish sprinter Oscar Freire took his third world title, equalling the record shared by Alfredo Binda, Rik Van Steenbergen and Eddy Merckx.

2006 - 2007

Bettini does the double

Paolo Bettini - the best classics rider of his generation - won two years in a row on Shimano equipment. Nicknamed Il Grillo ("the cricket") for his repeated sudden attacks and his sprinting style.

2012

Team time trial begins again in the Netherlands

The men's team time trial was reinstated, and a women's team time trial added to the program; both are contested by trade teams. Gilbert won the Men’s WC near the HQ of Shimano Europe. 

2013

Torrential rain in Florence

Marianne Vos dominated the Women’s Race, taking her 12th rainbow jersey. While the men's race was an epic one, with torrential rain falling for the largest part of the day.

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2015

Sagan triumphs

Last year, charismatic Peter Sagan, the people’s favourite, took the title with an explosive attack on the final climb of the final lap in Richmond, USA.

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