Tour de France & UCI World Championships
The U23 men's road race at the 2019 UCI road World Championships in Yorkshire starts in Doncaster, and heads north to Hatfield and Thorne. It passes to the east of Pontefract and Castleford, going through Monk Fryston, then continues north to Sherburn-in-Elmet and Tadcaster. Running roughly parallel with the A1, the race crosses the river Nidd, then reaches Boroughbridge. From there, it veers west to cross the A1 and get to Ripon, then it continues to Pateley Bridge.
There's a climb of Greenhow Hill, which is the main difficulty on the route, before the riders head via Thruscross and Blubberhouses to Harrogate, for three laps of the Harrogate circuit before the finish line on West Park.
See also a Google map of the race route.
|Date||Friday 27th September 2019|
|Event classification||U23 men's road race|
The official stage profile for the U23 men's road race:
Timings to follow.
The under 23 men's road race starts at the Dome Leisure Centre and Arena (Donny Dome).
The riders leave the Dome on Booth Avenue/Gliwice Way, joining the A638 Bawtry Road, then forking right on the A18 Leger Way. This involves going along two sides of Doncaster Racecourse.
The flag goes down and the racing starts a short way along the A18, near Sandall Beat Road Playing Fields.
I noticed cycle infrastructure around Doncaster Dome. I didn't do a detailed study of it, so these are just first impressions.
The sign in the picture above is at the Dome itself. Cycle infrastructure guidance says that 'end of route' and 'cyclists dismount' signs should be among the least favoured, and only used when there is no other option; yet you'd think that every local authority in the country had a huge supply of these signs, and not enough warehouse storage space.
In this particular case, the designers seem to be sending people on bikes to a triple chicane of metal fences. Even pushing a bike, it would be difficult to negotiate. That should be ripped out and replaced with something better thought-out and usable.
Across the road, the cycle lane looked a bit better, but I suspect that's only because it is easy - there aren't any junctions for a while, the pavement is wide, and it doesn't cost much to paint a white line down the middle of it.
As I followed the race route north out of Doncaster, my impression was that the cycle infrastructure was of traditonal British quality: giving way to every side road, and giving up altogether as soon as there was less space and it got a bit more difficult.
Doncaster is building a cycling area at the Dome, with a capital grant from Places to Ride - a fund set up as part of the UCI 2019 World Championships in Yorkshire. It'll have a circuit, a 'learn to ride' area, and a cobbled climb. That's brilliant. But won't it be even better if the people using it can get there by bike, instead of driving, or being driven there by mum and dad?
If your number one objective in building a cycle lane is to prioritise cars at all times, it will never work. People on bikes need to be put on an equal footing with those on foot or driving cars. What's needed is:
If a council's highways department don't know how to do it, there is expertise out there - British Cycling, Cycling UK, and/or the local cycling campaign groups.
Leaving Doncaster, heading north on the A18, the riders pass Wheatley Golf Course and Sandall Park. They continue via Edenthorpe to Hatfield. (This was a coal-mining area, and Hatfield Main Colliery produced coal from 1916 to 2001, and again from 2007 to 2015. It was a filming location for the movie Brassed Off).
This is flat country.
After passing Hatfield YOI and Kingswood Golf Centre, the race route reaches Thorne, a market town of about 17,000 people.
In Thorne, the riders cross the Stainforth & Keadby Canal, then as they leave the town they go under the M18. They then follow the A614 Selby Road by the river Don. These are flat lands which were fens in centuries past, before they were drained. If you check the race profile, you can see that there's no more than a little undulation in the first 75-100km of the race.
There's a bridge over the Aire & Calder Navigation.
The next bridge is over the M62, then the route turns left on the A1041 to East Cowick and West Cowick. Here, the road is between the river Aire and the Aire & Calder Navigation. There are views of electricity production facilities old and new.
The A1041 continues west to Snaith.
From Snaith, the race route is on the A645. It crosses the railway line at Little Heck; with a name like that, it could only be in Yorkshire. (It's not far from Great Heck). Near Hensall, there's a level crossing, from which there are views of Eggborough coal-fired power station (closed September 2018).
Eggborough is best-known for its power station, but there's also a major glass plant, owned by French company Saint-Gobain.
The riders turn right to Kellington, a village which grew in size to accommodate miners working at Kellingley Colliery. Leaving Kellington, Beal Carrs is away to the right; the route continues to the charming village of Beal.
Leaving Beal, the peloton crosses the river Aire.
From Beal, Birkin's church is visible, and a pleasant country lane leads there.
Then Roe Lane and Hillam Common Lane bring the pack to Hillam, where they turn right at a T-junction opposite the Cross Keys.
From there, it's only a few wheel rotations to Monk Fryston.
Heading north out of Monk Fryston, the riders go over the railway line, and reach South Milford. A very short distance further north is Sherburn-in-Elmet.
Just north of Sherburn-in-Elmet, the competitors pick up the A162, which passes Barkston Ash and Scarthingwell.
The A162 goes through the village of Towton, and leads to the brewing town of Tadcaster.
The under 23 men leave Tadcaster on Wighill Lane, and turn left at All Saints church, Wighill, and then right by the Thorp Arch Estate.
Near the Thorp Arch trading estate, they turn right on Rudgate. Heading north, they pass Marston Moor Business Park, then they cross the river Nidd to the village of Cattal.
North of Cattal, the riders make a small diversion along Stephenson's Lane and Gilsthwaite Lane, to avoid Cattal station. They cross the A59, and reach the heady heights of 50m above sea level at Whixley.
Crossing little watercourses like Whizley Cut, and a little further on, Bawter Carr Drain, is a clue to the fact that much of the low-lying land here was once marshes.
In Boroughbridge, the riders go along the High Street and onto Fishergate, then turn right to cross the Ure and Milby Cut on the B6265. Still on the B6265, they pass the village of Kirby Hill, then go over the A1.
They cross the river Ure again on the eastern edge of Ripon; here, Ripon Racecourse is on the left. The road (Bondgate Green) then follows Ripon Canal into town. The riders cross the river Skell, and keep following the B6265, now heading out of town past Mallorie Park.
The B6265 (Studley Road) heads west out of Ripon. It crosses the river Laver, and goes along the northern edge of Studley Royal deer park.
The route crosses the river Skell, then climbs to Risplith (about 150m above sea level). G&T's ice cream parlour got its striking paintwork in advance of the 2014 Tour de France.
From Risplith, it's a little further up, to around 200m at the junction with Sawley Moor Lane.
Then it's downhill to Fellbeck and the Half Moon Inn, then up again to a height of 250m, before a gradual descent to the river Nidd.
The riders arrive in Pateley Bridge, and go down the High Street then over the Nidd.
The B6265 heads west out of Pateley Bridge, past the Royal Oak pub, up Greenhow Hill. This is the main climb of the race. It's a stepped climb - there are three main 16% ramps, with easier sections in between.
The summit is just after passing Coldstones Quarry. On the Ordnance Survey map, there's a spot height of 401m near the entrance to the quarry. Look up to the left here, and the riders will be able to see a giant bike by the quarry.
After the official top of the climb, the competitors will continue through the strung-out village of Greenhow.
In Greenhow, there's a left turn on Duck Street.
A long, gradual, straight descent of Redlish Road/Greenhow Hill Road follows. You don't have to brake, and if you keep pedalling in a high gear, you can go fast enough to get the exhilarating feeling of being Champion of the World (even though you're not, in most cases).
Depressingly, it appears to be yet more grouse shooting land on either side (Pock Stones Moor to the right, Flat Moor to the left).
The road reaches the Stone House Inn, and few houses alongside it. (It's near Thruscross Reservoir, built in the early 1960s. The village of West End was abandoned and flooded in the creation of the reservoir).
After the junction with Menwith Hill Road, Greenhow Hill Road becomes Hardisty Hill, and it's a steeper descent towards Blubberhouses.
At Blubberhouses, near the end of Fewston Reservoir, the route meets the A59. The riders turn left on the A59 Hopper Lane, and climb a little hill past the Hopper Lane Inn.
After the Hopper Lane hill, the A59 has more dips and rises. It passes Dangerous Corner and Kettlesing Head. Where Mill 67 is on the left, the Knabs Ridge wind turbines are to the right.
There's a roundabout at the junction with Oaker Bank, by the Old Spring Well pub, then the Jennyfield estate is to the right as the competitors approach the New Park roundabout on the northern edge of Harrogate.
The U23 men's road race arrives in Harrogate at the New Park roundabout, and here the riders turn right, and join the route of the other races at these Championships. They head past the Claro Beagle, and up the A61 Ripon Road until Swan Road, where they turn right; Crescent Road brings them back to the A61 near the Royal Hall. Then, they go up Parliament Street to the start-finish line on West Park.
After crossing the line on West Park, the under 23 men must do three laps of the Harrogate circuit, and the winner will be the first rider across the line after those three circuits.
The U23 men's individual time trial at the UCI road World Championships 2019 in Yorkshire.
Read about the men's U23 ITT.
It grew up around a Roman fort called Danum, built in the C1st AD on the river Don (the site of St George's Minster today). The fort was on a Roman route from Lincoln to York.
Doncaster's charter for a market was granted in 1248. More recently, its population expanded due to coal mining in the area. Coal mining has declined, but Doncaster remains a distribution centre, due to its good transport links. Other industries include glass, and wire rope, manufacture.
Amongst the attractions in Doncaster today are Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery, The Dome sports & leisure centre, Cusworth Hall & Country Park, and shopping at Doncaster Market and Frenchgate. The local football team is Doncaster Rovers, and there's a rugby league side, Doncaster RLFC.
Snaith is an ancient market town. It's name comes from the Old Norse sneith, meaning piece of cut-off land (Wikipedia).
Snaith & Cowick is a parish which is sometimes called the Gateway to East Yorkshire. The Old Mill Brewery is a brewery in the old corn mill.
Monk Fryston's name comes from Fryston, meaning 'farmstead of the Frisians', and Monk, signifying that it was a possession of Selby Abbey in the C11th (Wikipedia). It has a pub, the Crown Inn, and the Monk Fryston Hall Hotel which dates from the C12th.
Sherburn-in-Elmet is a large village in North Yorkshire (but with a Leeds postcode). The population of Sherburn-in-Elmet is 7,110 (2017 estimate).
Sherburn-in-Elmet may have Roman origins. It is associated with the Brittonic Kingdom of Elmet, which had ties to Wales and existed from the 400s to the 600s: it emerged after the fall of the Roman Empire, and ended when it was invaded by the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria. A field adjoining All Saints church was the site of the palace of the Kings of Elmet.
In the English Civil War Battle of Sherburn-in-Elmet, on 15th October 1645, Royalists attacked the Parliamentarians who held the village, and initially gained the advantage, but were then routed in a counter-attack.
Today, Sherburn-in-Elmet is a popular rendez-vous for bikers. There's an industrial estate to the east of the village, which is home to Eddie Stobart logistics. Also to the east of the village, there's an airfield, and fishing at the Bacon Factory Pond.
Tadcaster is known as a brewing town.
Its history goes back to Roman times, when it was a staging post on the road to York (Eboracum). The Romans called Tadcaster 'Calcaria', referrring to the local limestone which they quarried. It was extracted and used in a later period to build York Minster.
There was a Norman motte and bailey castle here, built in the C11th. A wooden bridge crossed the Wharfe, but the first stone bridge was built in 1240; the present Wharfe bridge was built around 1700. The town's bridge was the scene of the Battle of Tadcaster (1642) during the English civil war.
Brewing in Tadcaster goes back to 1341, when tax registers record the presence of two brewhouses. It was a good location because of the quality of the water, which has been filtered through Yorkshire limestone, and bubbles up from springs known as popple-wells.
There are three breweries in Tadcaster at the moment - the Tower Brewery, John Smith's, and Samuel Smith's. Sam Smith's uses draft horses, which can be seen in the streets of the town.
Tadcaster bridge was damaged by floods in December 2015. A pedestrian bridge was put in place fairly rapidly, but a repaired bridge open to traffic was slow to complete. It opened in February 2017, 401 days after the collapse.
Boroughbridge is a small town in Harrogate Borough, and the county of North Yorkshire. It's close to the A1, and on the river Ure.
Aldborough, on the eastern edge of Boroughbrige, was a significant Roman settlement (called Isurium Brigantum by the Romans). Roman Dere Street crossed the Ure immediately north of Aldborough, but by 1155, the road had been diverted to cross the river a little further west. A new town grew up by the new bridge - Boroughbridge, the bridge near Borough. The town on the site of the Roman settlement became known as the old town, Ald-Borough (Wikipedia).
Boroughbridge was an important stage for stagecoaches because of its position on the Great North Road.
Ripon is said to be the 4th smallest city in England, with a population of 16,702 (2011 census). It is at the confluence of the rivers Laver, Skell, and Ure.
There was no known Roman presence at Ripon (the nearest military camp being at North Stainley). Ripon was founded by St Wilfrid during the Angle kingdom of Northumbria, around 658AD, at the time that he brought craftsmen from the continent to build the church of St Peter. The settlement was then known as Inhrypum.
The area was under Viking rule for a time. Following the Norman invasion, there was a rebellion in the north in 1069, which was suppressed ('the Harrying of the North'). Ripon suffered at this time, and its population was reduced.
In the 1100s, Ripon developed a wool trade, selling to Florentine merchants, and in the 1300s, it began making and selling cloth. In the 1500s and 1600s, Ripon became a specialist in spurs - hence the expression, 'as true steel as Ripon rowells.'
During the time of Edward I and Edward II (1200s and 1300s), there were incursions by invaders from Scotland, and Ripon had a wakeman, who was responsible for the safety of the city, and enforcing a curfew. (Nevertheless, Ripon had to pay a sum of money to the Scots on one occasion to prevent them burning the city).
The tradition of the wakeman lives on in the Ripon Hornblower. At 9pm, a horn is blown from the four corners of the obelisk on market square, in a ceremony known as 'setting the watch.' (It is claimed that this has happened every evening since 886AD).
The crypt of Ripon Cathedral dates from the mid-600s, when the first stone church was built here (dedicated to St Peter in 672AD). St Wilfrid was responsible for the first church, and he is interred in a tomb in the Cathedral. (He is also celebrated in the annual St Wilfrid's procession).
Subsequent churches were destroyed by the English king in 948, and during the Harrying of the North in 1069. Much of the present structure was built in the 1100s under Roger de Pont l'Eveque, but the Early English west front dates from the 1200s, and the nave was rebuilt in the 1500s and 1600s in Perpendicular style. It became a Cathedral in 1836.
There has been racing in Ripon since 1664, but the current racecourse dates from 1900.
Close to Ripon are Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal water garden and deer park.
Studley Royal Park includes the ruins of Fountains Abbey. (You pay an entrance fee to visit Fountains Abbey, but Studley Royal Deer Park is free).
Fountains Abbey was founded in 1132 as a Cistercian monastery.
At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII (1539), the Abbey buildings and adjacent land were sold to Sir Richard Gresham. Later, Stephen Proctor bought them, and he built Fountains Hall between 1598 and 1604.
The Mallory family lived at Studley Royal from 1452. John Aislabie inherited the estate in 1693. He was involved in the South Sea Company, which failed disastrously, and after that, he devoted himself to the garden at Studley Royal. His son William united Studley Royal and Fountains by buying Fountains Abbey and Hall in 1742. (The Water Garden created by John and William Aislabie is in the paying part of the estate).
Studley Royal House burned down in 1946, but a large stable block (which dates from 1728-32) survived, and is now a private house.
The whole estate was bought by West Riding County Council in 1966, and by the National Trust in 1983.
Find out more about Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal water garden and deer park.
Pateley Bridge is a small market town in Nidderdale, in the Harrogate Borough, with a population of 1,437 (2017 estimate).
It was first mentioned in a document in 1175. It belonged to the Archbishop of York, and in 1320, he granted a charter for a market and a fair. Until 1964, a railway line ran to Pateley Bridge. The trackbed could be used to extend the Nidderdale Greenway to Pateley.
Pateley Bridge has a large park, and a pool and leisure centre. It is home to the Nidderdale Museum, and on the route of the Nidderdale Way. As well as several pubs, it has the oldest sweet shop in England.
Harrogate is a town of about 75,000 people, in North Yorkshire.
Its mineral waters were discovered in the 1500s, and it grew as a spa town in the centuries that followed. Many of the spa facilities were built in Queen Victoria's time.
You can visit the Royal Pump Rooms museum, drink the foul sulphur water from a tap outside (not advised), or dip into the Turkish Baths.
These days, Harrogate's economy is still partly based on tourism and visitors. It has a major Convention Centre, the Great Yorkshire Showground, and many good hotels.
Attractions include the RHS garden at Harlow Carr, the Valley Gardens, and Betty's tea rooms.
Read more about Harrogate.