Harrogate’s brief moment in the Tour de Yorkshire spotlight last weekend came on Friday when the second day of the event took a detour from the Barnsley to Bedale stage to test out the new town centre circuit.
If anyone should be able to assess how the course stacks up it is members of one of Harrogate’s most popular and inclusive cycling clubs which was formed in the first glow of Britain’s new love affair with the sport.
And it does matter. The circuit's 14 challenging and exceedingly hilly kilometres of central Harrogate roads will play a pivotal role for entire nine days in this September’s UCI Road World Championships which Harrogate will host.
James Lovell of Cappuccino Cycling club, a friendly and very social club which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this July, said not only was the TdY was excellent this year, even though the weather wasn’t that great.. but the new Harrogate circuit was "really good" for riders and spectators.
James said: “The crowds came out in force for both the men’s and ladies races and it just goes to show how much the public have taken cycling to their hearts across the region.
“The men’s race had a really thrilling finale on Sunday, and it was great to see Team Ineos get their first win and for a British rider, Chris Lawless to take the GC.
“It was brilliant to see local hero Lizzie Deignan back racing in Yorkshire following the birth of her daughter.
“She’s obviously still trying to find her form, but we cannot wait for her to challenge for the World title in September.
“The town centre route in Harrogate is really good.
“We have ridden it in it’s entirety, apart from going up Parliament street and West Park.
“It has some really good vantage points for spectators. It is also a good test for the cyclists as there is not one bit of flat road.
“There are some very technical, steep descents, especially at Pot Bank and Oak Beck, which means the riders have to knock off the speed, before then having stiff little climbs the other side.
“The course will really sap the energy of the riders legs during the World Championships.
“Bring on September!”