The exact routes have finally been revealed and Harrogate can now start to prepare to welcome the world for the biggest international sporting event in its history.
Details of the nine momentous days when Harrogate will host the UCI Road World Championships were announced last night in Innsbruck, the current hosts.
With thousands of spectators from home and abroad expected to flood the town next September, as well as top riders, their support staff, the world’s press and representatives of cycling organisations from across the planet, the logistics of this huge event are immense.
But Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive, Sir Gary Verity, the man who brought the Tour de France to Harrogate four years ago, said he was confident the town was equipped to be “the ultimate host town.” He said: “Harrogate will be the epicentre of the championships; the ultimate host town. Every race culminates on Parliament Street meaning the town will crown each new World Champion.
“Not only will Harrogate see epic racing, it’ll also be the hub for the cultural side of this nine-day festival of cycling, playing host to an exciting opening ceremony and fan zone. Harrogate has proved it is a natural at hosting world class events; we saw it with the dramatic finish to stage one of the Tour de France in 2014 and with the fantastic crowds that lined the stage two finish of the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire.
“I know Harrogate will once again rise to the challenge and give the world a huge Yorkshire welcome.” Organisers are already working hard to reassure any residents worried over possible road closures when the world championships take place next year.
Both North Yorkshire County Council and Yorkshire 2019, the organisation formed with the responsibility of delivering the actual event in Yorkshire, have pledged that the championships would not involved the same level of road closures as the Tour de France in the Harrogate district in 2014.
Yorkshire 2019’s head of communications Charlie Dewhirst said: “A number of road closures and parking restrictions will be required on a daily basis to ensure the safety and security of both riders and spectators.
“We are working with our partners to only close roads for the shortest possible time, with the aim to re-open them as soon as it is safe to do so.”