Two years out from Yorkshire’s staging of the UCI Road World Championships and the White Rose county is well-represented in the 2017 edition in Bergen, Norway, over the next week.
Three of the nine-man team that will represent Great Britain in the men’s road race next Sunday hail from Yorkshire; Rotherham’s Ben Swift, Sheffield’s Adam Blythe and Burley-in-Wharfedale’s Scott Thwaites.
Each has had an enouraging year, with Swift and Thwaites riding in the Tour de France, and Blythe in the recent La Vuelta a Espana.
And each man on his day can break away to win a race, or hold his own in a sprint finish, as may be needed in the absence of 2011 champion Mark Cavendish, who has not fully recovered from the injury he sustained at the Tour de France.
Otley’s Lizzie Deignan spearheads the British challenge in the women’s road race.
World champion two years ago in Richmond, USA, the track in Bergen suited her perfectly, but the emergency appendectomy she underwent just over a week ago has hampered her preparations. Yorkshire’s Melissa Lowther riders in support.
Earlier next week, Leeds’s world cyclo-cross junior champion Tom Pidcock bids to add the Junior Men’s road race and time-trial titles to his growing list of accolades, while Wakefield’s Ollie Wood goes in the Under-23s road race.
The action starts tomorrow with the team time-trial on Sunday.