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by Shane Stokes
August 18, 2016
Photography by Cor Vos
Following on from media reports this month that it would bid for the road world championships in 2019, the Welcome to Yorkshire company has confirmed that this is indeed the case.
It has worked with British Cycling and UK Sport on the bid, which was formally presented by its Chief Executive Gary Verity to UCI President Brian Cookson.
According to a Welcome to Yorkshire statement, the UK Government has guaranteed to underwrite the full cost of the event and to back it with £24 million of investment.
Such a bid seeks to capitalise on British cycling success in recent years, including four Tour de France wins since 2012, Mark Cavendish’s 2011 road world title, Bradley Wiggins’ worlds time trial title in 2014, Lizzie Armitstead’s road world title in 2015 plus highly successful Olympic campaigns.
“It would be an absolute honour to host the 2019 UCI Road World Championships,” said Verity in an official statement on Thursday.
“Yorkshire has everything a bike race could wish for. We can promise a gruelling but spectacular range of routes, huge crowds and the very warmest of welcomes. We are sure the world’s best riders will find our beautiful roads both challenging and exhilarating in equal measure.”
Under the details of the bid, the race programme would include starts in North, South, East and West Yorkshire. The awarding of the bid will be decided at this year’s world road race championships in Doha, Qatar, in October; if successful, Welcome to Yorkshire has said that specifics would be released then.
Yorkshire also offered last week to run this year’s European championships after the original host Nice stood down over security concerns.
However it has been decided that the championships will be held in Brittany in Northern France.
Verity said that the 2014 Tour plus the current Tour de Yorkshire underlined how the area can successfully host major events.
“The Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014 cemented the county’s place as a world-class cycling destination. Since then I have been proud to oversee the launch and growth of the Tour de Yorkshire – a race which is now regarded as one of the most dramatic and well-supported events in the sport.
“Make no mistake, cycling is in Yorkshire’s DNA and hosting the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will only reaffirm that.
“Yorkshire is ready to embrace the Championships. We’ve turned the county yellow once before, and now we want to see it swathed with those coveted rainbow bands.”
After this year’s championships in Qatar, the 2017 road worlds will be held in Bergen, Norway. Innsbruck in Austria will host the races in 2018.