Between the 22 and 29 September 2019 the world’s best cyclists will race on the roads of Yorkshire in the UCI Road World Championships.
After the Spring Classics and the Tour de France, this is the pinnacle of professional cycling. The Championships promise to underline Yorkshire’s reputation as a world-class cycling and sporting destination, recreating the atmosphere of the 2014 Tour de France and the annual Tour de Yorkshire.
This will be the first time that Britain has hosted the Championships since 1982 and Yorkshire is aiming to deliver the most inclusive, exciting, and inspirational championships in the history of the event.
The riders will contest to wear the coveted rainbow jersey for a full year in road race and stage events. Races take the form of various disciplines, including individual and team time trials and a road race.
There will be 11 Championship races over eight days of action, including a range of men’s and women’s events for junior to elite riders.
Prior to the Championships, the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International will take place on the 21st of September.
A brand new, trailblazing event, it will help para-athletes gain qualification points for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Races start in 10 different locations across Yorkshire, covering over 1000km of road before concluding in the competition’s hub town, Harrogate. Bradford, Doncaster, Leeds, Northallerton, Richmond, Ripon are all also set to see the world’s best set off in the various races, providing fantastic opportunities for community activities and the chance to witness elite sport first hand.
The finale of this cycling festival is the Elite Road Race. The women’s 149km event has been dominated by the Dutch for the past two years and it’s hard to look beyond their team once again. Anna van der Breggen and Marianne Vos look particularly strong, although Britain’s Lizzie Deignan is the reigning World Tour champion and has excelled this year. Twelve months after she gave birth to her daughter, she is back in top form and hugely motivated to win the World Road Race title on home soil.
The Great Britain men’s team will be out to win too. Having held all three Grand Tour titles last year, the likes of Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates have had to take a back seat. The men’s tour has seen South Americans Richard Carapaz (ECU) and Egan Bernal (COL) come to the fore, taking the pink and yellow jerseys respectively.
It has felt like a changing of the guard, with multiple Grand Tour winner Chris Froome missing most of the calendar, after a horrific crash left him with a fractured neck and a broken hip.
Younger riders have brought aggression and excitement to bike racing. The explosive Julian Alaphilippe lit up his home race, leading the Tour de France for fourteen days before heroically cracking in the final week. He and Mathieu van der Poel (NED) look set to be amongst the favourites when they set off from Leeds to Harrogate on 29 September.
Both riders favour the short punchy climbs that make up the course featuring many of the ascents from the 2014 Tour de France, including the Cray and Buttertubs passes.
Alongside riders from seventy-five countries they will battle to wrench the rainbow jersey from 2018’s veteran winner, Alejandro Valverde (ESP) and become “God’s Own” World Road Race Champion.
For more information about how to go and see the racing live visit https://worlds.yorkshire.com.
Alternatively, watch it on the BBC, the Red Button, or iPlayer from Sunday 22 September.