Andy Tennant, a track cyclist from the Black Country who regularly rides the roads around his grandparents’ home in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, has set his sights on helping a Briton win the world road cycling title in Yorkshire in 2019.
The White Rose county was last week awarded hosting rights to the 2019 UCI Road World Championships, an eight-day festival of cycling that determines the finest riders on the planet for that year. It is a major boon for the county, and one that continues building on the legacy left by the Grand Depart of the Tour de France two years ago.
Part of that cycling inheritance is the annual Tour de Yorkshire, and after riding the inaugural race in 2015, Tennant has seen first hand how impressive a show the Broad Acres can put on.
A former world track champion alongside Yorkshire’s Ed Clancy in the team pursuit, the 29-year-old rides for Team Wiggins on the road, with the battle for the rainbow jersey in 2019 giving him a major target to focus on.
“The Tour de Yorkshire has massively helped British Cycling over the years, it’s one of the best races to do and the most enjoyable, they always look after riders well and have done a fantastic job over the years,” said Wolverhampton-born Tennant.
“Winning the Road World Championship bid really is testimony to the great job they have done and I’m sure the event in 2019 will only cement that further.
“Bringing the world championships to the UK is positive for many different people; the UK have won another sporting event, Yorkshire as a region are proving they are leaders in hosting major events, pro cyclists have an opportunity to win on home soil and fans can come out and watch an international event.”
The route is a long way from being finalised, though it will touch all four corners of the county. But whatever circuit is chosen, Tennant is confident it will be an exacting test for the world’s best.
“It will be an exciting but tough race, Tour de France contenders are all likely to be vying for the title,” he said.
“As the terrain is tough roads and hard climbing, I would expect it to suit riders like Simon Yates, Adam Yates and Chris Froome, so hopefully we have some good home grown options.
“I have cycled in Yorkshire a lot, my grandparents live in Saltburn-by-the-Sea in the Yorkshire Moors and I still enjoy going back. I’m sure I’ll be adjusting my training rides to bring in more of that terrain in the coming months and years. Perhaps me and my best man, Ed Clancy, will go up for some rides to scope it out too.”