Science meets cycling: ETH Zurich becomes Institutional Partner

The 2024 UCI Road and Para-cycling Road World Championships coming September in Zurich will be supported by ETH Zurich as an Institutional Partner in the field of science. As part of the cooperation, ETH Zurich will have an exhibition stand at the Velo Expo on Bürkliplatz to show how cycling improves quality of life and how technology can support people with disabilities in sport and everyday life. What is more, the scientists will provide the TV partners with exciting background information on the geology along the race routes.


It is impossible to imagine cycling without science. It plays a key role in various areas, for example through its research into biomechanics and physiology. Findings help, for example, to understand muscular processes and thus improve health and performance on the bike in a more targeted manner. The development of bicycles that are adapted to physical requirements is also being driven forward. Additive manufacturing (also known as 3D printing) in combination with research into physical performance have opened up a new perspective for cycling.

ETH Zurich is one of the best universities in the world. “The Local Organising Committee Zurich 2024 (LOC) is very proud to have the renowned university at its side as an Institutional Partner of the 2024 UCI Road and Para-cycling Road World Championships,” emphasised Managing Director Daniel Rupf. “Like our global cycling event, it makes a significant contribution to the inclusion and integration of people with disabilities.”

Hands-on science at the Velo Expo

ETH Zurich will bring the public closer to research from the fields of biomechanics, physiology and nutrition as well as various other scientific areas at its exhibition stand.  For example, visitors can try out textile sensors and instrumented leg warmers, learn more about pressure distribution when sitting, test themselves with muscle-stimulating devices, and discover how ETH students support para-cyclists with their developments. In addition to the various groups from the Department of Health Sciences, ETH’s CYBATHLON will also be present on several days. The CYBATHLON is an international competition that focuses on the research and further development of assistance systems suitable for everyday use for people with disabilities. The competition will next take place from 25 to 27 October 2024 in Kloten, Zurich.

For Dr Tobias Walser, Coordinator of the ETH Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST), the 2024 UCI Worlds next September offer a strong platform: “Our partnership with Zurich 2024 enables us to demonstrate and allow a broad public to experience the direct benefits of our research activities and scientific practice – there are more connections between science and cycling than one would generally think. There are countless examples of this: for example, our student Luca Hasler has developed a new handlebar specially tailored to the needs of Swiss para-cyclist and reigning UCI World Champion Flurina Rigling. Hopefully it will also bring the Zurich 2024 ambassador another rainbow jersey next September.”

Exciting data on racecourses for TV coverage

ETH Zurich will also contribute useful information and exciting data in completely different areas, for example on earth and environmental science topics in connection with the race routes. For example, the landscape around Gossau ZH, where numerous time trials start, is characterised by so-called “drumlins”. The elongated hills were formed during the Ice Age under an actively moving glacier, as ETH scientists have shown.


About ETH Zurich ( and the Department of Health Sciences and Technology (

Freedom and personal responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit and cosmopolitanism: Switzerland’s values are the foundation of ETH Zurich. The roots of our university of technology and natural sciences go back to 1855, when the founders of modern Switzerland created this centre of innovation and knowledge. 567 professors educate around 25,000 students – including 4,500 doctoral students – from over 120 countries. At ETH Zurich, students find an environment that encourages independent thinking, while researchers find a climate that inspires top performance. In the heart of Europe and with a worldwide network, ETH Zurich develops solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

The Department of Health Sciences and Technology (D-HEST) at ETH Zurich researches and develops new technologies with the aim of better understanding the human body and maintaining and improving people’s health and quality of life from a young age to old age. With three degree programmes and over forty professorships in the fields of exercise science and sport, food science and nutrition, medical technology, neuroscience and clinical translation, D-HEST brings together a unique concentration of expertise under one roof.