I have received the information below in respect of the recent announcement that the UCI Road World Championships, another major sporting event, will be coming to Leeds next year:
“Following on from the incredible success of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ and the annual Tour de Yorkshire, the world’s finest cyclists will be returning to Yorkshire and Leeds from September 21-29 2019 to compete at the prestigious UCI Road World Championships.
The event draws the biggest and most famous names in the sport to compete each year to try and win the coveted rainbow jersey for becoming world champion. Being held at a different venue each year, the 2018 championships are taking place this week at Innsbruck in Austria.
I am very pleased to now share with you some more detail and key information about the role Leeds will play in next year’s event.
The world championships are made up of a mix of daily races, which will all either take place in or end in Harrogate. The final day sees the most high-profile race of the week take place – the men’s road race. I am delighted to be able to tell you that Millennium Square will be hosting the start of this race on Sunday 29 September, with the riders following a route north west out of Leeds via Otley and through the Dales before finishing in Harrogate.
Races earlier in the week will also come through Wetherby on Saturday 21 September and on Friday 27 September.
The championships will be broadcast live to the world by the BBC, further raising the profile of Leeds and Yorkshire globally as well as boosting the city and region economy with international visitors and large crowd numbers expected to line the race routes.
Further details in terms of daily race timings are not expected to be announced until April, and we are working closely with the event organisers Yorkshire 2019 Ltd and British Cycling on the detailed planning for the event. Using all our experience from staging major international sporting events like the Tour de France, Tour de Yorkshire and the ITU World Triathlon Leeds, our focus is on hosting another fantastic event while minimising any disruption for local residents and businesses caused by road closures on the route, and ensuring clear and timely communications for all those who will be affected.
As well as developing early and clear communications with residents and businesses, we are also working with West Yorkshire Combined Authority to ensure public transport can be planned accordingly, liaising with emergency services to agree access routes, developing plans with adult social care to ensure those who require services will get them, and sharing these plans early with health and social care partners across the city.
More information will follow in due course on all of this planning, but I hope you can join me in welcoming this fantastic news that Leeds will once again be the focus of the world’s sporting attention next September.
Hosting the UCI Road World Championships is a major coup for Yorkshire and Leeds, as it has not been held in the UK since 1982, and there is a strong Leeds connection to the event. The legendary Beryl Burton won the women’s road race twice before Lizzie Deignan followed in 2015, with Mark Cavendish who also has family links with Yorkshire being the last British winner of the men’s road race in 2011.”
I very much welcome the event coming to the local area. It is great for the local economy and for the investment it will bring to the Leeds area in general as well as the spin-off of getting children interested in the sport. With a worldwide audience, once again we will be able to showcase the beauty of the area and what we have to offer. I am sure that the organisation will be first class, and that any disruption to local residents going about their everyday lives will be minimal. There are a lot of cycling enthusiasts and those who just like watching these events who live locally and who will really enjoy seeing another world class sport coming to the area. It is great that Cookridge is going to be part of the route this time as it will bring the cyclists to an area of Leeds that hasn’t featured in the Tour de Yorkshire route.
I still remember the fantastic turnout the city had for the Grand Depart, and for the last few years local residents have welcomed the Tour de Yorkshire to the doorsteps of Adel & Wharfedale, flocking in high numbers to the many wonderful vantage points. We have also been proud to have many visitors coming to the area.