Top cycling event's 'seismic impact' on Harrogate

With only 127 days to go, Harrogate residents have finally been given a glimpse of the seismic impact UCI cycling championships will have on the town.

Friday, 24th May 2019, 9:25 am
Officials from organisers Yorkshire 2019 visting Harrogate - Charlie Dewhirst, chief executive Andy Hindley and Nick Howles. (Picture: Gerard Binks)

Taking place from September 22-29, 40,000 copies of a Harrogate Residents Guide are currently being distributed packed with information on the event described as the 'Olympics of road cycling.'

Being financed partly by £15 million in funding from UK Government and UK Sport, Andy Hindley, chief executive of organisers Yorkshire 2019 said that, beyond the actual nine days of international cycling, the event was "not only an important sporting moment for the UK and Yorkshire but a massive opportunity for Harrogate as a town on the world stage."

It's something the leader of Harrogate Borough Council concurs with wholeheartedly.Coun Richard Cooper said: “The UCI World Road Race Championships will be tremendous fun for the town but the Tour de France showed us that major international events have a long-lasting positive effect on levels of tourism. "Harrogate will be welcoming thousands of spectators from around the world not just in person but also on millions of TV screens across the globe.“It will offer a further long-term sustained boost to tourism in our area.”

Officials from organisers Yorkshire 2019 in Harrogate handing out leaflets about the UCI cycling championships - Nick Howles and Andy Hindley chat to Swan Road residents Daniel and Ben Raubitschek. (Picture: Gerard Binks)

Organisers Yorkshire 2019 are leaving nothing to chance when it comes to making sure Harrogate is ready to make the most of its big chance.The release of the exact timings for races in Harrogate is an important part of the new leaflet.

Yorkshire 2019 chief executive Andy Hindley said: “It’s exciting to share these timings as spectators can now plan exactly where and when they want to watch the action.”

Facts on UCI Road World Championships and the UK

It will be the first time that Britain as a whole has hosted the UCI Road World Championships since 1982. Not only do they attract top riders from the 194 different national cycling federations represented by the UCI, but their adminstrators and support teams consist of huge numbers of people too.

UCI Road World Championships - Harrogate road closures

The new leaflet also includes new up-to-date information on road closures in Harrogate with the message that the town will still be very much open for business during the championships.Andy Hindley of Yorkshire 2019 said the fact the event would be using the same town centre circuit as the recent Tour de Yorkshire, offered a glimpse of how the rolling road closures would operate.

He said: “Some roads will have to close for lengthy periods of time. But, as happened with the Tour de Yorkshire, the rest will only shut for the part of the race relevant to that particular stretch of road.”

UCI Road World Championships - Where to watch them in Harrogate

In terms of the cycling, the hottest spot for spectators will probably be the intersection between Cornwall Road, Valley Drive and Royal Parade which will feature prominently on the town centre circuit.