Leeds will stage the start of the men’s race at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire next September in a route that will evoke memories of the epic opening stage of the 2014 Tour de France.
The 284.5km route will take the world’s best over iconic climbs like Buttertubs Pass and Grinton Moor on Sunday, September 29, just as the Tour de France peloton did five years earlier in front of millions of enthusiastic fans on the roadside.
Cyclists will then complete seven laps of a circuit in Harrogate before a slightly more challenging conclusion to the race that was seen in 2014, one designed for sprinters that resulted in Mark Cavendish crashing and Marcel Kittle winning a bunch finish.
This time, the riders will turn sharply at the Royal Baths up onto Parliament Street before finishing on The Stray.
The women’s race, 24 hours earlier, starts in Bradford and travels 149km before three circuits of Harrogate, the Yorkshire spa town serving as the main hub for the nine-day championships.
Races will start all across Yorkshire, with the newly-introduced para-cycling road races opening the festival of elite cycling on Saturday September 21 in Beverley.
Ripon, Northallerton, Richmond and Doncaster will also host starts of races.
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity said: “It is a great honour to be hosting the 2019 UCI Road World Championships. This will be the most inclusive and diverse Championships ever held and cement Yorkshire’s place as a world-class cycling destination.
“The countdown is now well and truly on and there will be many people in Yorkshire and across Britain who are looking forward to this iconic event. We can promise huge, passionate crowds, stunning scenery and epic racing.
“We have worked hard with the UCI to design a challenging and spectacular range of routes which take in all four corners of the county. We are thrilled to be able to share these routes and are sure they will make for exciting racing.”
Yorkshire was awarded the right to host the 2019 Road Cycling World Championships in October 2016. The winning bid was made jointly by British Cycling, Welcome to Yorkshire, UK Sport and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Yorkshire 2019 programme
Day 1: Saturday 21 September: Beverley-Tadcaster-Wetherby-Harrogate Circuit – Para-cycling Road Races (C1 Event)
Day 2: Sunday 22 September: Harrogate Circuit – Team Time Trial Mixed Relay – 28km (two circuits)
Day 3: Monday 23 September: Harrogate Circuit – Women Junior Individual Time Trial – 14km (one circuit) and Men Junior Individual Time Trial - 28km (two circuits)
Day 4: Tuesday 24 September: Ripon to Harrogate – Men Under 23 Individual Time Trial – 32.5km (route plus one circuit) and Women Elite Individual Time Trial – 32.5km (route plus one circuit)
Day 5: Wednesday 25 September: Northallerton to Harrogate – Men Elite Individual Time Trial - 54km (route only)
Day 6: Thursday 26 September: Richmond to Harrogate – Men Junior Road Race – 144.5km (route plus three circuits)
Day 7: Friday 27 September: Doncaster to Harrogate – Women Junior Road Race – 91.5km (route only) and Men Under 23 Road Race – 192.5km (route plus three circuits)
Day 8: Saturday 28 September: Bradford to Harrogate – Women Elite Road Race – 149.5km (route plus three circuits)
Day 9: Sunday 29 September: Leeds to Harrogate – Men Elite Road Race – 284.5km (route plus seven circuits)