THE 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships is set to become the one of the most watched cycling events ever, with broadcast figures from the first four days of action showing record numbers of viewers are tuning in at home and abroad.

In the first four days, more than two million viewers in the UK alone watched the action unfold live on the BBC with more than one million watching Austrian Valentina Höll and Great Britain’s Charlie Hatton become the Women's and Men's Elite Mountain Bike Downhill UCI World Champions in the stunning surroundings of Fort William.

READ MORE: Joint police operation helps ensure Flodden Ride Out runs smoothly

A further peak of 800,000 viewers tuned into the dramatic men's road race on Sunday 6 August, as Mathieu Van der Poel clinched the rainbow jersey, in front of a further 300,000 people who lined the route between Edinburgh and Glasgow and during the 10 laps of Glasgow’s tough city circuit.

With an average of 600,000 viewers, it was the highest UK television audience for a UCI World Championship Men Elite road race in recent years: an average of 350,000 viewers in 2020 (in Imola, Italy), 220,000 viewers in 2021 (in Flanders, Belgium) and 188,000 last year (in Wollongong, Australia).

The Track and Para-cycling Track competitions, held jointly for the first time, had an average of 500,000 viewers tuning in to watch the competition at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome.

The total number of spectators to watch the cycling in person now exceeds more than 500,000, whether it's witnessing the action on Scottish roads, at the BMX Freestyle Park at Glasgow Green, the Mountain Bike Downhill in Fort William, the Mountain Bike Cross-country Marathon in Glentress or Track and Para-cycling Track at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, while millions more have tuned into the action from overseas.

READ MORE: More than a few tears shed on Lauder's Common Riding day

The statistics on 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships official social media reflect the interest worldwide, with a reach of 4.6 million and more than 193,000 engagements with people liking, sharing and commenting on posts in the first four days of the event across the first four days.

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Champs website has also had 400,000 unique users since the start of the event, with the schedule page being the most popular.

The numbers will no doubt be boosted by what is set to become a record-breaking women's road race on Sunday, with thousands of fans expected to create a wall of noise around Glasgow once again, as the world's leading female cyclists have the honour of closing the biggest event in the history of the sport.

Paul Bush OBE, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Chair, said: "After the many months and years of planning, it really has been special to see the number of fans making their way to the roadside, or into venues to watch the world's best cyclists compete across all disciplines.

READ MORE: Borders farm nominated for Helping it Happen Award

"The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships has provided a wonderful opportunity to showcase to a global audience the stunning landscape and iconic locations Scotland has on offer across the length and breadth of the country. I want to say thank you to all our host regions for their contribution to shaping the goodwill and positive atmosphere across all our venues, but I also want to pay tribute to the incredible number of local fans who are showing the world why Scotland is the perfect stage for major events.

"I hope the crowds keep coming along in person and tuning into the excellent coverage being provided by the BBC, especially as we head into a huge occasion on Sunday as the women road racers compete to give these UCI Cycling World Championships the finale they deserve."

UCI President David Lappartient said: “I have been visiting different competition venues since the beginning of the UCI Cycling World Championships so have experienced first-hand the fervor of on-site spectators.

“The television viewing figures from the first four days of competition demonstrate that the same passion and excitement are shared by cycling fans who cannot be present but are able to witness the action thanks to the event’s record television coverage. It is far from over, and I am convinced that the remaining competitions will be every bit as popular.”