Thrilling week of 'firsts' as Harrogate welcomes world cycling
For the next nine days Yorkshire will get the biggest global exposure the county has ever seen by hosting the largest cycling event on the planet - the UCI Road World Championships - and Harrogate will be at its heart the entire time.
Nearly three years since Welcome to Yorkshire with UK Sport, HM Government and British Cycling won the bid to host this huge event, the county is now ready to welcome millions of spectators from across the world to watch 1,400 riders from 90 countries compete to win the coveted ‘Rainbow Jersey’ in daily races from September 21-29.
A TV audience of 250 million people are expected to tune in to watch top riders like Geraint Thomas, Lizzie Deignan and Peter Sagan compete for the world title, with Yorkshire’s stunning scenery the star of the show.
The races will pass through 163 Yorkshire locations, and once again the county has done itself proud in getting ready.
All roads lead to Harrogate as the spa town becomes the epicentre of the event where each of the new world champions will cross the finish line and be crowned in the Harrogate Fan Zone which will be buzzing with entertainment and family activities.
Inclusive - new para-cycling and men and women competing togetherThis year’s event is the most innovative and inclusive in the competition’s history. It is the first time a UCI-sanctioned international para-cycling event has ever taken place alongside the Championships.Yorkshire will also be making history by hosting the inaugural Team Time Trial Mixed Relay.
For the very first time, men and women will compete together in this race on the opening day of the Championships, Sunday, September 22.
The ground-breaking Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International this Saturday, September 21 will see star riders such as Britain’s Dame Sarah Storey and Adam Duggleby MBE from Beverley take part.
A whole host of newly-crowned world champions will also be competing, and the event will act as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Welcome to Yorkshire’s commercial director Peter Dodd said: “We’re passionate about making the experience for our para athletes the best it can be, and this gives the riders a rare chance to take part in point-to-point road races with the same support from our famous Yorkshire crowds that all the other riders get. "The Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International will take place in front of one of the largest crowds ever assembled for an elite para-cycling event.”
Yorkshire will also be making history by hosting the inaugural Team Time Trial Mixed Relay. For the very first time, men and women will compete together in this race on the opening day of the Championships, Sunday, September 22.
Hosting the championships only further cements Yorkshire’s global reputation for cycling, which began with the hosting of the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014 and has continued ever since with the annual Tour de Yorkshire. The total economic boost to the county from these events has been £433 million since 2014.
"Proud that Yorkshire is hosting prestigious world cycling eventWelcome to Yorkshire’s Peter Dodd said: “This is such a huge deal for the county, and we are beyond proud that Yorkshire has been chosen to hold such a prestigious event on behalf of Great Britain.“Our stunning landscapes and unique terrain make for some wonderful routes for this year’s competition; which is great for the riders and fantastic for showcasing the beauty of Yorkshire to hundreds of millions of people across the world.“But the thing that will make it truly unique is the Yorkshire crowds. As we’ve already witnessed during the Tour de France Grand Départ and Tour de Yorkshire, we know how to throw a party and celebrate, with brilliant community events and ambitious land art projects that show the county off at its best.“I know the crowds will be out in full force for the Championships beaming with Yorkshire pride and giving these world-class athletes that famous Yorkshire welcome!”
National government funding for UCI cycling championships
The UCI Road World Championships brings with it a government legacy of £15 million to develop entry-level cycling facilities across England which will leave a lasting impact for generations to come. We will see one of these legacy projects in full swing as the Women’s Junior and Men’s Under 23 Road Races both roll out from the brand-new Doncaster Cycle Track on Friday, September 27.Peter Dodd said: “Bringing the Championships to Yorkshire has been a massive team effort and it’s this spirit of collaboration which allows us to host huge international events like this in the county."Tourism in Yorkshire is already worth a healthy £9 billion a year and we hope more global exposure will only enhance that further.“I want to thank every single person who has worked with us from our business and Local Authority partners to our brilliant emergency services, the hundreds of fantastic volunteers and the entire Welcome to Yorkshire and Yorkshire 2019 teams. "Together we have created the very best platform to showcase our great county to the world while also encouraging and inspiring future generations to cycle for fun or for glory in the decades to come.”