Yorkshire’s reputation as a world-class cycling destination was cemented today after the county was chosen to host the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.
The news was announced by UCI president Brian Cookson OBE from Doha, Qatar which is currently hosting the 2016 UCI Road World Championships.
The collegiate bid was compiled between Welcome to Yorkshire, British Cycling and UK Sport and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The government has committed to invest £24 million into the event, £15 million of that budget will be used to develop 27 cycle sport facilities across the UK which will leave a lasting legacy at grassroots level. In addition there is £3 million of National Lottery funding from UK Sport.
The decision enhances Yorkshire’s global reputation for cycling, which began in 2014 with the Tour de France Grand Départ and has continued ever since with the annual Tour de Yorkshire.
Mr Cookson was full of praise for the Yorkshire application and is predicting an event to remember.
He said: “The UCI Management Committee is pleased to award the UCI Road World Championships to Yorkshire in 2019. Since hosting the Tour de France’s Grand Départ in 2014 and subsequent Tours de Yorkshire, the county has proved it is a fitting host for road cycling’s leading annual event and we are sure there will be world class crowds to match.”
Tracey Crouch, minister for sport said: "I am delighted that our bid to host the UCI Road World Championships in 2019 has been successful. The government is backing the event with investment to stage the championships and leave a legacy that will help strengthen cycling at the grassroots across the country.
“As a nation we have a great history in staging some of the biggest events in sport and I look forward to working alongside Welcome to Yorkshire, British Cycling and UK Sport on these championships. Yorkshire has embraced major cycling events in recent years and I know the county will put on a fantastic show in 2019."
Great to hear #Yorkshire has been awarded the 2019 Road World Championships.— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) October 12, 2016
There won't be any complaints about the lack of spectators
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “Today marks a moment in history. Yorkshire has shown it can host world-class events with the Grand Départ and Tours de Yorkshire, and now the county has been chosen to host the nine-day UCI Road World Championships in 2019.
“We have got the scenery, the crowds, and the warm welcome, and we are sure the world’s best riders will love the challenging roads we have to offer.”
Simon Morton, chief operating officer of UK Sport, said: “To secure such a prestigious event is testament to the UK’s reputation as a world class host of sporting events and our continuing commitment to inspire the nation through sporting success.
“Working in partnership with government, British Cycling and Welcome to Yorkshire we are confident the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will deliver a lasting legacy for a sport that achieved such incredible success at Rio 2016.
“To host the championships in 2019 will also give British athletes the opportunity to compete in front of a passionate home crowd as they fine tune their preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”
Ian Drake, chief executive of British Cycling said: “To get £15 million to invest in cycle sport facilities is massive and will truly leave a lasting legacy for this event.
“While we’ve been building dozens of new facilities over the last decade, this is an opportunity to ensure that every area of Britain has close access to a closed road circuit, velodrome, BMX track or mountain bike trail.
“This is transformational for the sport and will inspire thousands of people to take up cycling.”
Denise Burton-Cole – a track world championships bronze medallist in 1975 and daughter of two-time world champion Beryl Burton OBE – believes this is a momentous day for Yorkshire.
She said: “The news that Yorkshire is set to host the UCI Road World Championships in 2019 is incredible. My mother would have been very proud, as I am proud, for Yorkshire to be hosting such an important event.
“Mum and I travelled the globe representing Great Britain at the UCI Road World Championships. How marvellous it would have been for us to compete in it in Yorkshire, our home county. It would have been so special. Now the best riders in the world are going to have that opportunity. Am I envious? You bet I am!”