Yorkshire’s selection as host for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships has been greeted with delight across the peloton.
The county has proven adept at staging major cycling events following the enormous success of the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France and its legacy race the Tour de Yorkshire in subsequent years.
Now the best cyclists from the leading nations across the planet will return to the White Rose in three years time for the annual festival of cycling to determine the best riders in the world.
And for British cyclists young and old, the county’s successful bid is a major boon.
“It’s a huge achievement,” said Rotherham’s Dean Downing, a veteran of the national cycling scene who now works as a team manager. “Everybody in the world knows how well Yorkshire has done in the past three years putting on the big cycling events, with the Tour de France and then the Tour de Yorkshire.
“Each of those has been really well received by the public. The riders love coming to Yorkshire because they know the roads are tough but that the support they receive is like nothing they get anywhere else in the world.
“The worlds is a massive event. They’re different to a Tour de France because you have eight days of racing across age groups and encompassing men’s and women’s races. It’s going to be a huge event for Yorkshire.”
Downing helped plan the route for early editions of the annual Tour de Yorkshire and he knows the county’s urban strees and rural roads make for varied and exciting racing.
“That’s the beauty of Yorkshire, with the terrain we have you could have any type of race,” added Downing.
“It could be a sprinter’s route, an intermediate route or a classics route.
“As we’ve seen with all the Tour de France and the Tour de Yorkshire stages, this county has produced really tough routes that make for great racing.”
Rotherham’s Ben Swift, who is one of three Yorkshiremen representing Great Britain in the men’s world road race in Doha on Sunday, tweeted: “Great news about the road worlds coming to Yorkshire. The atmosphere is going to be unbelievable.”
Burley-in-Wharfedale’s Scott Thwaites, who is in the same team as Swift this weekend, added on social media: Awesome news! 2019 World Champs on home roads in Yorkshire.”