World Championship route to echo Tour de France test into Harrogate

CYCLING chiefs in Yorkshire will lure the best riders in the world to the Broad Acres next year with a route that echoes the memorable opening stage of the 2014 Tour de France.

The exact routes of next September’s UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire will be revealed this evening at the 2018 event currently being held in Innsbruck.

Harrogate has already been announced as the hub of the event, where all races from September 22-29, 2019, will conclude.

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The finalised start towns will be unveiled tonight, with either the men’s or women’s road race set to bear familiar hallmarks to the opening Tour de France stage from Leeds to Harrogate four years ago which ended in Mark Cavendish’s crash.

Start of the Tour De France in Leeds in 2014 (Picture: Simon Hulme)

Organisers are keen to make the routes as testing but as fair as possible, mindful that this year’s races for the world champion’s rainbow jersey have not been designed to everyone’s taste, given the mountainous terrain of the Austrian Alps.

Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome, winners of the last four Tours de France and former world championship medallists, have chosen to end their seasons early because the course does not suit them.

Yorkshire 2019 chairman Chris Pilling said: “Who can ever forget the infamous Cavendish moment outside Betty’s in 2014?

“That was a very challenging circuit and that’s why the world championships are coming here. What with the Grand Depart and successful Tours de Yorkshire on the back of that - Yorkshire is becoming a cycling mecca throughout Europe.

Greg Van Arvermaet come's in to the finish in Leeds to win the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire. (Picture:Bruce Rollinson)

“The teams that have put these events on over recent years have shown that it is eminently possible to put on a true test in this part of the world.”

Other start towns already known for the dozen or so races are Beverley, Bradford, Doncaster, Northallerton, Ripon and York.

Pilling added: “We’ve got an amazing spread of towns and cities that will touch as many areas as we can.”