Yorkshire’s standing as the capital of world cycling was confirmed today when it was announced that the county will host the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.
The White Rose staged a memorable Grand Départ of the Tour de France in 2014 and such was the success of that global event – when five million people lined the route over two days – the annual legacy race, the Tour de Yorkshire, was born.
Now building on that tremendous success comes the road world championships in three years’ time.
That event is held over eight days with a multitude of races to decide the best cyclists in the world.
The week traditionally begins with men’s and women’s team time-trial, with Under-23 races and individual time-trials held in the week before the main event of the women’s and men’s road races over the final two days.
We are sure the world’s best riders will love the challenging roads we have to offer.”Gary Verity
The winner of each of those races wins the coveted rainbow jersey, something Yorkshire’s own Lizzie Deignan, nee Armitstead, achieved in the United States last year.
Yorkshire defeated rival bids from Colombia, Canada, Italy and Germany to land the 2019 worlds. The bid was compiled between Welcome to Yorkshire, British Cycling, UK Sport and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The government has committed to invest £24m into the event, with £15m of that budget to be used to develop 27 cycle sport facilities across the UK which will leave a lasting legacy at grassroots level. In addition there is £3m of National Lottery funding from UK Sport.
President of the UCI Brian Cookson, of Lancashire, said: “The UCI Management Committee is pleased to award the UCI Road World Championships to Yorkshire in 2019. Since hosting the Tour de France’s Grand Départ in 2014 and subsequent Tours de Yorkshire, the county has proved it is a fitting host for road cycling’s leading annual event and we are sure there will be world class crowds to match.”
Chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity, said: “Today marks a moment in history. We have got the scenery, the crowds, and the warm welcome, and we are sure the world’s best riders will love the challenging roads we have to offer.”
The 2017 Road World Championships take place in Bergen, Norway and the 2018 event is hosted by Innsbruck-Tirol, Austria, and Yorkshire stated its desire to host the next available event before being selected on Wednesday.
Yorkshire’s formal bid - submitted by national governing body British Cycling and made in partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire, funding body UK Sport and the Government - was announced in August by Prime Minister Theresa May.
Racing would take place in North, South, East and West Yorkshire, Sir Gary has said, with decisions over the race routes for the week-long event to be made in conjunction with the UCI.
The 2014 Tour began in Leeds, with another stage start in York and finishes in Harrogate and Sheffield.
Sir Gary said: “We have got the scenery, the crowds, and the warm welcome, and we are sure the world’s best riders will love the challenging roads we have to offer.”
British Cycling negotiated a £15million package of nationwide investment alongside the bid, to further develop cycling facilities and grow participation.
This funding will provide for 27 purpose-built cycle-sport facilities across the disciplines.
Many of these would be closed-road circuits - for riding away from motor vehicles - but there would also be outdoor velodromes, BMX tracks and mountain bike trails.
British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake said: “To get £15m to invest in cycle sport facilities is massive and will truly leave a lasting legacy for this event.
“While we’ve been building dozens of new facilities over the last decade, this is an opportunity to ensure that every area of Britain has close access to a closed-road circuit, velodrome, BMX track or mountain bike trail.
“This is transformational for the sport and will inspire thousands of people to take up cycling.”