Lizzie Deignan, Tom Pidcock and Lizzy Banks fly flag for Yorkshire at UCI Road World Championships

Last year on the roads of Yorkshire and up a mighty finish on Parliament Street in Harrogate it was Annemiek van Vleuten and Mads Pedersen who rode to glory in the UCI Road World Championships.

Tom Pidcock: Last year’s world championship Under-23s bronze medallist has joined Ineos. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Who will succeed them by slipping their arms into the yellow jersey this weekend at the 2020 world championships in Imola?

Will it be a Yorkshirewoman in today’s 143km women’s road race – either Otley’s Lizzie Deignan winning the world title for a second time, or Sheffield-based Lizzy Banks pulling off a surprise victory to continue her summer of progression?

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Banks, 29, and Alice Barnes raced for Great Britain in the time-trial on Thursday, and will ride alongside Deignan, Hannah Barnes, Anna Henderson and Anna Shackley today.

Lizzie Deignan of Trek Segafredo and Lizzy Banks of Equipe Paule Ka in Frane earlier this year (Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWPix.com)

The worlds were relocated at short notice after the Aigle-Martigny region in Switzerland announced only last month it could not host the event due to the coronavirus pandemic. Imola has stepped in with a series of routes around the famous motor racing circuit.

The men’s race tomorrow is a typically gruelling 258.2km route which sees Great Britain fielding a relatively young team that consists of Hugh Carthy, Matt Holmes, James Knox, Luke Rowe, James Shaw and the Yorkshireman Tom Pidcock.

Pidcock, 21, was a bronze medallist in the Under-23s road race in Harrogate last year and is making the step up to senior level after comfortably winning the Baby Giro stage race earlier this month.

The Leeds rider is also a multiple winner of rainbow jerseys in cyclo-cross and will ride tomorrow buoyed by the announcement of his new contract with World Tour team Ineos Grenadiers. Pidcock will join Ineos on March 1 after the cyclo-cross season.

Lizzy Banks wins in Italy (Picture: CorVows/SWPix.com)

“Like so many British cyclists of my generation, I have always aspired to race on the road with this team – to me, the best in the world,” said Pidcock.

Ineos chief Sir Dave Brailsford said: “Tom is one of the most exciting young riders in world cycling and part of a new era of incredible all-round talents.”