UCI organisers insist road closures will not be extended despite torrential downpour causing cycle race delays

Heavy rain and difficult weather conditions have led to UCI organisers delaying the Women Elite Individual Time Trial race, but organisers have insisted they are doing everything they can to minimise disruption.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:20 am

The race, which was due to start at 2.40pm, was delayed until 3.30pm. The last rider was due to arrive in Harrogate at 4.48pm.

A statement issued by event organisers said: "Due to the heavy rains experienced this morning and considering the inclement weather forecast for the rest of the day, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the organising committee of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships have reviewed the conditions for this afternoon’s Women Elite Individual Time Trial race.

"Following the discussions, it’s been decided that the start will be delayed to 15:30 to allow water to be cleared. The organising committee and the county are deploying marshals to yellow flag areas with standing water and staff and vehicles are draining water on the roads to ensure riders’ safety. Gaps between riders will be reduced to 1 minute instead of 1 minute 30 so that the finish time comes close to the original schedule. The UCI and Yorkshire 2019 will continue to monitor closely the events and take any appropriate decisions."

They have also said that the reduction of the gaps between riders should mean that things continue to run as normal and road closures are not extended or affected.

Charlie Dewhirst, Head of Communications for Yorkshire 2019, said: "We do not expect any significant changes to the advertised route closure times. By reducing the interval times between riders the race is now shorter than originally planned so this allows us to make up time."

The rain is expected to continue on and off throughout the week.