This year’s UCI Road World Championships are underway and this time it’s the turn of Yorkshire England, where local cycling fans like Judith Worrall are getting ready. Judith and her friends will be welcoming 1,400 athletes representing 90 countries to picturesque Yorkshire.
The World Championships- which run from 22 to 29 September 2019- centre around Harrogate Yorkshire and feature 11 races in the Under 19, Under 23 and Elite categories in individual time trial, road race and team time trial events.
Yorkshire will be making history by hosting the first-ever Team Time Trial Mixed Relay with national teams consisting of three male riders and three female riders. The male riders will set off first and the women will start as soon as the second male rider has crossed the finish line. Final timings will then be taken when the second female rider crosses the finish line and the fastest team will be declared the winner. (Results here)
As well, for the very first time, Para-cycling races will take place alongside the UCI Road World Championships, although they are not the World Championships for Para-cycling which take place in early September in The Netherlands.
Judith and her husband and friends are rightfully excited about the event so close to home. “I’m very excited. Yorkshire is very much a home for cyclists. The Tour de France Grand Depart was from Yorkshire in 2014 and since then it has gone from strength to strength. We now have our very Tour De Yorkshire in May which is televised across the world.
“It is very close to my home and my husband and I have actually volunteered for spectator engagement for the elite road races.
“I’ve already ridden the courses which are fairly tough. There are lots of challenging hills around Yorkshire, I am actually taking part in the Sportive that will be on the same route on 22 September,” said Judith.
Judith who started road cycling just seven years ago, co-founded her own women’s cycling club called Yorkshire Lasses so she’s got lots of friends who are looking forward to the event.
“It is a massive thing in Yorkshire and cycling is improving all the time with all the media coverage it gets, it is fantastic for local businesses too. Some of my non-cycling friends are not as keen because it does cause a lot of disruption around the area with roads being closed off,” said Judith.
Road cycling is very popular in Yorkshire. “We have a lot of people coming for holidays now just to cycle. Through Yorkshire Lasses we have organised our own Ladies only sportive, we have had up to 570 ladies coming to take part from all over England. Welcome to Yorkshire has also done a great job promoting the Road Championships everywhere,” said Judith.
And while Wollongong will probably never host a Tour de France Grand Depart, the Illawarra region will host the UCI Road World Championships in 2022…!
Follow the 2019 Road Worlds: