• GL
Choose your location?
  • Global Global
  • Australian flag Australia
  • French flag France
  • German flag Germany
  • Irish flag Ireland
  • Italian flag Italy
  • Polish flag Poland
  • Qatar flag Qatar
  • Spanish flag Spain
  • UAE flag UAE
  • UK flag UK

Link Newsletter: 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships

29 November 2023

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships brought together 13 existing UCI World Championships to create a new ‘mega event’ that will be held every four years in the year preceding the Olympic Games.  In 2019 Glasgow and Scotland were awarded the right to host this inaugural event on behalf of the international federation, the Union Cyclisté Internationalé (UCI), with France awarded hosting rights in 2027.

DWF Link: an interview with Trudy Lindblade & Alasdair Peacock

From 3 to 13 August, the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships showcased a remarkable 11 days of sporting excellence with elite and amateur athletes from 129 countries competing.  A total of 653 medals were awarded across the Championships including 220 UCI Rainbow winners’ jerseys.

The 14 host venues and broader regions have thrived, making history in staging this mega cycling event, welcoming thousands of visitors from across Scotland and around the world.   

Athletes performed their heroic feats in front of around 1 million people across all our World Championship events.  Many millions more watched on from home. 

The delivery of the event was supported by around 4,000 volunteers in key roles across every venue, making sure spectators, media and cyclists had the best experience possible.   

Great Britain topped both the cycling and para-cycling medal table with 56 and 44 medals, respectively.

The Championships inspired new fans of the sport and made incredible memories for thousands of spectators at home and abroad, creating a lasting legacy for this first of its kind event, and for cycling across Scotland.

We are delighted to speak to Trudy Lindblade, Chief Executive Officer at 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships about her experience in delivering such a significant and unique first-time major event that will create a blueprint for future editions. 

  1. What was your journey to becoming a Chief Executive at UCI Cycling World Championships?
    • I have worked in sports and major events for nearly 30 years. I completed a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing and my first role in sport was in Australian Rules Football starting out as a Membership Assistant where I quickly realised a career in sport and major events was the path for me. I have worked for national governing bodies, event bidding companies and local organising committees to deliver incredible major events. I am passionate about leading high performing teams and working with inspiring boards and senior executives. The Championships was my first Chief Executive role.
  2. Were you a cycling fan before you took the role?!
    • I love riding my bike. I’ve ridden from an early age and enjoy the freedom it provides. The great thing about cycling is it’s not just a sport, it can be part of your everyday life – whether it be for transport, health, or the environment. Watching cycling live in any discipline is exhilarating and slightly unique – as a spectator you’re so close to the action and the best athletes in the world.
  3. What is the best thing about your job?
    • It is a real privilege to be a part of some of the world’s greatest sporting moments and witnessing firsthand the civic pride local communities feel when a major event showcases their hometown. However, if I had to pick one – it’s the people. We have had an incredibly hard working, passionate and motivated team that has delivered this event in the toughest of economic times. The team has shown incredible resilience as we’ve created the blueprint for future UCI Cycling World Championships.
  4. You've just delivered the biggest world cycling event ever:
    1. what was your highlight from the event?
      • I have so many. To see how all of Scotland embraced and celebrated the Championships. The greatest highlight is delivering a truly integrated able bodied and para-cycling programme for road and track cycling as well as the scheduling of the Elite Women’s Road Race to bring the curtain down on the event was a significant moment for our team and the sport.
    2. what was the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
      • This was an extremely complex project, particularly being an inaugural event. Planning and delivering the Cycling Worlds alongside the macro-economic issues faced over the last three years such as inflation, the increase in cost of living, impact of Brexit and conflict in Europe meant there was a lot of additional challenges to navigate.
  5. In this newsletter, our theme is 'presenting with impact':
    1. do you have to present often in your role?
      • I present regularly in my role to a variety of internal and external audiences both formally and informally.
    2. what is your best tip for presenting effectively?
      • Know your audience and adapt your messaging to suit. Ensure you are clear and concise in your delivery and don’t forget to rehearse (and time yourself!) beforehand.
  6. Who is your biggest inspiration?
    • My parents are my biggest inspiration. They have provided incredible support to myself and my siblings as we’ve set out and advanced our careers. They have always been there to celebrate our success and will find the right words when times are challenging.
  7. Where do you get your motivation from?
    • I’m motivated by the projects I work on, the people I work with and the outcomes we achieve together. Major sporting events not only provide a platform for the best athletes in the world to compete, but they also provide lasting memories for everyone involved and that’s very satisfying and motivating.
  8. What does success look like to you?
    • In the context of a major sport event, it’s not just delivering a world class, safe event with new innovations. It’s also about generating lasting impact, inspiring new fans of the sport, being inclusive, sustainable, and creating new experiences. As a CEO it’s being a positive influence and leading a highly engaged team that works together effectively to achieve our vision.
  9. What is your top tip to an aspiring Chief Executive Officer?
    • As you move through your career, identify CEO’s and/or senior executives whose leadership style and values you respect and identify with. Then use these roles models to guide and refine your own leadership style. I have been fortunate to work with and for some outstanding CEO’s and Chair’s and learning from them has been key part of my journey to being a CEO.
  10. What is your top tip for anyone looking to pursue a career in major event management?
    • A really simple tip is to sign up to a volunteer programme at the next major event. It’s a great way to try out various roles, build your network and experience the behind-the-scenes activities and the energy of delivering a major event.
  11. What's the best piece of advice you have ever received?
    • Listening is an essential tool for successful leaders.

Trudy Lindblade, Chief Executive Officer

Alasdair Peacock, Partner at DWF, and his team Douglas Jeffries, Orla Kerr and Charlotte Hampson have been working closely with Trudy and the teams at UCI, Glasgow City Council and Event Scotland for the past 5 years from initial concept to event delivery. 

  1. How did you get involved in this project in the first place?
    • I have worked with VisitScotland for many years and a number of years ago part of their strategy to drive tourism in Scotland was to develop a major events directorate and this was called EventScotland which was tasked with bringing major events to Scotland. They adopted the strap line "Scotland- The Perfect Stage". We have worked with them on numerous major events such as the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup and non-sporting events such as Homecoming Scotland, the Mobo Awards etc. The Cycling World Championships was the latest major event to come to Scotland. Normally we get involved at the bid stage when Scotland bids against other nations to host events but Scotland's excellent international reputation for hosting major sporting evets meant that the UCI decided to directly award the Championships to Scotland. So our first involvement was negotiating the Host Nation Agreement with the UCI. The unprecedented nature of the event meant his was quite challenging from the outset.
  2. What was your team's role?
    • Douglas and I have worked together on all the major events we have advised on. We have jointly led the project from day one. Orla has also worked with EventScotland historically and was an obvious choice to join the team as workloads increased. While Orla was on mat leave Charlotte stepped in and had to come up to speed quickly on understanding the client the work types (and a bit of Scots Law). Orla did a great job stepping back in after her mat leave.
  3. What has been your highlight?
    • Nothing beats seeing the event itself being delivered after years of work. The World Championships showcased Glasgow and Scotland to the world and was super exciting. In pure lawyerly terms getting the Hosting Agreement signed was a major milestone. As you can imagine it was a monster agreement. Once it was signed it felt like the starting gun going off for the delivery of the Championships.
  4. With our theme being 'presenting with impact':
    1. What is the best presentation you have seen during this project?
      • Paul Bush is the Chairman of 2023 Cycling World Championships Limited. The whole concept for the World Championships derives from his initial vision. He is a master presenter. His presentation to the VisitScotland Board to achieve buy in and approval to support the Championships was exciting, bold and compelling.
    2. Why was it so engaging?
      • He Knew his audience well. We had a pre-presentation discussion to identify key drivers and areas for concern that the board would have, such as effective governance, risk management, funding, policy delivery and legacy. His presentation addressed these concerns. However Paul focused on the vision and when he presents he is dynamic. He uses, pictures and graphics and numbers to explain complex issues quickly and clearly without detracting from the overall excitement of the vision.
    3. What could our Link members learn from that? It is very important to, to know what the drivers will be for your audience, demonstrate clarity and understanding of the complex detail without getting bogged down in it. Sell the vision but be well prepared to answer the follow up difficult questions. Preparation is key. For some presentations you only get one shot at it.
  5. Who is your biggest inspiration?
    • Effective teamwork inspires everyone.
  6. Where do you get your motivation from?
    • I used to be motivated by learning and developing new ideas, understanding client businesses and how they work and being the most effective adviser I could be, as you move through your career it becomes more about the development and growth of team members, which is always great to see.
  7. What's the best piece of advice you have ever received?
    • keep it short and to the point.

Further Reading