The biggest names in world cycling will be competing on roads in Leeds later this week as they take part in the prestigious UCI Road World Championships.
Races come through parts of the city on Friday and Saturday before the finale of the event and biggest race of the week, the elite men’s road race, starts in Millennium Square on Sunday morning (September 29).
Following on from the success of Saturday’s Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International which attracted big crowds to Wetherby in perfect weather conditions, racing returns to the town on Friday September 27 September. This time it will be cycling’s future stars showcasing their skills on the world stage, with the women’s junior road race coming through Wetherby in the morning (approximately 10:30-11am) followed in the afternoon by the men’s under-23 road race (approximately 3.40pm-4.20pm).
In the morning the route travels along Wighill Lane, Wetherby Road, Walton Road, A168 Privas Way, A661 Boston Road, High Street, Market Place, Westgate and Spofforth Hill. The afternoon’s race only sees action on Wighill Lane and Rudgate.
The next day, Saturday 28 September, Leeds will welcome one of its leading sports stars as Lizzie Deignan races through her hometown of Otley when the race which starts in Bradford comes through Guiseley and Otley before heading north on the way to Harrogate, where every race in the 2019 UCI Road World Championships ends.
Arriving in Guiseley just before 12 noon, the route travels along the A6038 Hollins Hill, A6038 Bradford Road and the A65 Bradford Road. The route through Otley takes in the A6038 Bradford Road, A659 Bradford Road, A659 Piper Lane, A659 Westgate, Manor Square, Clapgate, Bridge Street, Billams Hill and Farnley Lane before heading on to north Yorkshire.
Lizzie is bidding to win a second world road race title, but will face strong competition on her home roads from the world’s best, especially the formidable Dutch quartet of Marianne Vos, Anna van der Breggen, Chantal Blaak and Annemiek van Vleuten.
The finale of the championships on Sunday 29 September sees the leading men’s stars come to Leeds, as their bid to win the coveted world champion’s rainbow jersey starts in Millennium Square at 8:40am.
Heading to the Headrow and past Leeds Town Hall, the riders will then follow a route from Westgate up to the A660 and out to Otley, along Otley Old Road, Cookridge Lane, Otley Old Road, East Chevin Road, Gay Lane, Bondgate, Kirkgate, A659 Westgate, Piper Lane, Bradford Road and the A660 Ilkley Road. It will then follow the same route used for the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ through the Yorkshire Dales and on to Harrogate.
The startlist is sure to feature the current leading names in the sport, with the line-up expected to include Britain’s Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, current world champion Alejandro Valverde of Spain, three-time world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia, former Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali, winner of the recent Tour of Spain Primoz Roglic, together with his Slovenia compatriot and rising star Tadej Pogacar. One of the stars of this year’s Tour de France Julian Alaphilippe of France, Colombian duo Nairo Quintana and Miguel Angel Lopez and Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert, Greg Van Avermaet and Remco Evenepoel will also all be strong contenders in a truly world-class field.
The big screen in Millennium Square will be following all the action on Sunday, while there will be a second screen at Leeds Dock as part of the Leeds Festival of Cycling Fan Zone featuring the race action and a range of free activities running from 8:30am-5pm. These include: British Cycling cycle activities, LS-Ten and Leeds Urban Bike Park cycling activities, mountain trikes, Breeze games, tennis4kids, ping pong, garden games and a pop-up running track. Water taxis will operating throughout the day offering travel from Leeds Station to Leeds Dock.
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:
“Following on from the great success of the 2019 Para-Cycling International on Saturday we are very much looking forward to these UCI Road World Championships races coming to Leeds this week.
“Seeing Lizzie Deignan come through her hometown of Otley is going to be special and hosting the start of the men’s road race with the best riders from all over the world coming to Leeds is going to be fantastic.
“These UCI Road World Championships will provide the perfect end to an incredible year of sporting events in Leeds watched by hundreds of millions of people across the globe, showcasing Leeds even more as a leading international city.”
Yorkshire 2019 CEO Andy Hindley said:
“We are delighted to be showcasing the Leeds area for the finale of the UCI Road World Championships this weekend. I have no doubt that Otley will put on another fantastic cycling party on Saturday before we head to Leeds on Sunday to recreate the unforgettable scenes of the Grand Départ in 2014.”
All of the races are being screened live on the BBC, either online or on BBC television.
Live traffic and travel plus road closure information for the UCI Road World Championships can be found via https://worlds.yorkshire.com/ and on the Yorkshire 2019 App.