The whirlwind travelling circus that is the cycling season has all but come to an end, with just the small matter of the rainbow stripes to contend this coming weekend in Yorkshire. In the wake of the success of the 2014 Tour de France grand depart the county has enjoyed a rise in it’s cycling profile with a wealth of new events including the well-established Tour de Yorkshire men’s and women’s races, culminating in this year’s fight for the rainbow stripes. The gruelling terrain of rolling, punchy climbs and images of scores of roadside fans have put Yorkshire well and truly on the cycling map.
Famous Yorkshire Cyclists
Before 2014, however, Yorkshire had already established a rich cycling history. The UK may not appear to lend itself to cycling owing to its reputation for grey weather and bumpy roads, but that hasn’t stopped the country and in particular, Yorkshire from producing some world-class cyclists.
- Richmond 2015 world-championships winner Lizzie Deignan hails from Otley and will be looking to re-claim the title on home roads after returning to racing this year following the birth of her daughter.
- Barnsley-born Olympic gold-medalist on the track, Ed Clancy.
- Leeds legend, Beryl Burton – twice world champion and multiple time-trial record-holder.
- Team INEOS rider and current British national champion, Ben Swift from Rotheram.
- Former national champion Adam Blythe from Sheffield.
- Sally Boyden 10 x British champ from the village of North Ferriby.
2019 Yorkshire World Championships
Yorkshire 2019 will be the fourth UK world championships with previous editions having taken place in Liverpool 1922, Leicester 1970, Goodwood 1982. 2019 also sees the introduction of the new mixed relay event in the place of the popular team time trial event meaning that there are no events in which riders compete within their trade teams. Riders will compete for their nations in teams of three male and three female riders. The format being that the men set off first and the women replace them on the course as soon as the second man crosses the line, the second female rider’s time across the line will then be taken as the result. Another first in Yorkshire will be a Para-cycling race that will take place with four races on Saturday September 21.
Yorkshire 2019 Cycling World Championship Programme
There are eleven events taking place over 8 days, starting on the 22nd September.
Sunday 22nd September: Mixed TTT 28km
Sunday 23rd September: Women’s Junior ITT 14km & Men’s Junior ITT 28km
Tuesday 24th September ITT: – Women 33km & U23 30km
Wednesday 25th September: ITT – Men 54km
Thursday 26th September: Men’s Junior Road Race 148km
Friday 27th September: Women’s Junior Road Race 86km & Men’s U23 Road Race 187km
Saturday 28th September Road Race – Women 149.5km
Sunday 29th September: Road Race – Men 284.5km
Yorkshire 2019 World Championships Preview
Gary Verity of Welcome to Yorkshire said of the Yorkshire 2019 courses: “We have produced a spectacular range of routes and we’re sure the world’s best riders will find them both challenging and exhilarating in equal measure.”
The Yorkshire 2019 course is characterised by relentless terrain and undulating hills that will gradually deplete energy and power, grippy surfaces and technical corners combine to create a course that will favour a punchy, resilient rider. World championship races always take place on a circuit and this year is no different, with the men’s race traversing a route from Leeds to Harrogate before completing 7 laps of the finishing circuit while the women will depart from Bradford and go on to complete 3 laps of the Harrogate circuit.
The weather is likely to play a big role in how the races pan out, and, it being the UK at the end of September, the chances of adverse conditions are pretty high. Cold, wind and rain could have a significant effect on the result.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the courses.
Yorkshire World Championships 2019 – Men’s Race
The men’s road race covers a whopping 285km and is a course that will favour classics-style riders with a fast finish from a reduced group.
- Kidstones Pass 3.5km avg of 4.7% pitching up to 13.8% this climb features at 60 km and could catch people out early on.
- Buttertubs, this climb comes at 90 km into the course, at just 2.2 km but with a savage 9% average gradient pitching up to 15% it is enough to sift through the peloton, anyone who struggles up this climb is unlikely to last the remaining 200 km.
- Grinton Moor 3 km at 6.7% average with maximum ramps of 13.5%, still plenty of the race left at this point but anyone who is still looking fresh at this point will be a strong contender for the win.
Yorkshire World Championships 2019 – Women’s Race
The elite women’s road race course spans just under 150 km. The peloton will follow a route from Bradford over 105km in the lead up to the final three laps around Harrogate town centre. The two main climbs on the course come relatively early on but there are consistent rolling hills throughout.
- The first significant climb on the course is Norwood Edge, 2 km at an average gradient of 9% but with pitches up to a painful 16%!
- Lofthouse 4.5km at an average gradient of 6% but maxing out at a leg-breaking 18.6% both climbs suit a punchier rider.
Time Trial: Cyclists To Watch at the 2019 Yorkshire World Championship
- Rohan Dennis – Dennis goes into Yorkshire as the reigning world champion but has only one TT victory to his name in 2019. He also hasn’t raced since his abrupt and controversial departure from the Tour so his form remains to be seen.
- Remco Evenepoel – the 19 year old Belgian is an outright favourite for the win.
- Primož Roglič is another stand-out favourite, heading straight to worlds off the back of his Vuelta a España win which was largely thanks to his convincing time trial victory in Pau.
- Annemiek Van Vleuten – the reigning champion and two-time winner of the TT title, Van Vleuten is an unstoppable force of time trialing prowess, seemingly regardless of the course and is a nailed-on favorite to win the title once again.
- Chloe Dygert-Owen – the young American is an unbeatable pursuiter on the track, a skill which transfers to plenty of road time trial success (she was junior world champion in Richmond). Dygert-Owen will definitely be a podium contender in Yorkshire.
- Lisa Brennauer – the German road race champion took the time trial in Ponferrada in 2014 but hasn’t managed to find her way back into those rainbow stripes since. Brennauer has had a successful 2019 after changing teams from Canyon SRAM to WNT Rotor and took the time trail and overall prize at the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta last weekend. Could this be her year
Road Race: Cyclists To Watch at the 2019 Yorkshire World Championship
- The defending Champion is Alejandro Valverde, and while the Spaniard has had a successful season, even winning a stage of the Vuelta, his race will really have to come together for him to repeat last year’s victory in the face of some very tough competition, although nothing is impossible.
- Mathieu Van der Poel – all eyes will be on this versatile rider who missed out on the cross country mountain bike world championships after cleaning up in the few World Cups he started, suggesting he is confident about his chances in Yorkshire. The 2019 Amstel Gold Race winner will be heading into Yorkshire having just stormed through the Tour of Britain winning three stages and the overall, proving that the British terrain suits him!
- Julian Alaphilippe is a sure favourite, the French rider showed his versatility and tenacity in this year’s Tour leaving his climbing ability in no doubt, his aggressive racing style could suit the terrain and he’s proven to have a fast finish.
Notable Absences: Tour de France winner Egan Bernal and Giro second-placed Vincenzo Nibali won’t ride.
- Team Netherlands will be the ones to beat once again this year with heavy hitters like Annemiek Van Vleuten, Marianne Vos alongside reigning champion Anna Van Der Breggen they have plenty of cards to play, young rider Demi Vollering could also be a dark horse but will it be a case of too many favourites?
- Lizzie Deignan has been vocal about her desire to win this race since before the birth of her first child last year. Deignan has made relatively few appearances on the racing circuit in 2019 with her best result being a win of the overall at the OVO Women’s Tour of Britain, she also missed out on GP Plouay due to illness, so her form is something of an unknown. Will the home roads give her the extra push to take the rainbow bands for the second time?
Notable Absences: Leader of the UCI world ranking, Lorena Wiebes.
Must Watch Racing – Yorkshire World Championships 2019
Whatever the result, the annual spectacle of the world championships is always one to watch and this year will be no exception. With the fields stacked in every competition it’s sure to be thrilling racing to watch! Who do you fancy to win the most prestigious prize in cycling? Let us know in the comments below!
Yorkshire Cycling Tours
If watching Worlds gets you inspired to ride your bike in ‘God’s Own Country’ then stay tuned for our Tour of Yorkshire, NEW for 2020! If you have any questions then give us a call now on +34 972 649 131 or contact us online for more info!
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