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UCI 2019 Yorkshire road World Championships

UCI 2019 Harrogate finish line

UCI 2019 elite men's road race

Kilnsey Crag
Kilnsey Crag

The elite men's road race at the 2019 UCI road World Championships in Yorkshire starts in Leeds and finishes in Harrogate. It's 280km, and includes seven laps of the Harrogate circuit.

The route takes in cycling hotspots Otley and Ilkley, then heads via Addingham and Skipton into the Yorkshire Dales. In the Dales, the parcours is the same as that of Stage 1 of the Tour de France 2014. It goes to Kilnsey, Kettlewell, the Côte de Cray (Kidstones), Aysgarth, Hawes, Côte de Buttertubs, Reeth, and the Côte de Grinton Moor.

Descent from Buttertubs
Descent from Buttertubs into Swaledale

The run back to Harrogate is via Leyburn, Middleham, Masham, West Tanfield, North Stainley, Ripon, and Ripley.

The riders will have done 182km already when they arrive in Harrogate. Seven laps of the Harrogate circuit - no big hills, but plenty of attritional ups and downs - takes them to the full race distance of 280km.

As during the Tour de France, the finish line will be on West Park, roughly in front of Cathcart House and the United Reform church.

UCI 2019 Yorkshire Worlds Harrogate circuit finish line
Finish line, West Park, Harrogate

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: results and photo

The result was: (1) Mads Pedersen (Den) (2) Matteo Trentin (Ita) (3) Stefan Kung (Swi). This is the results sheet.

Elite men's road race, UCI 2019 Yorkshire Worlds
Kung, Moscon, Pedersen, Van der Poel, and Trentin on the Harrogate circuit

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: participants

This is the start list for the elite men's road race.

The British team for the elite men's road race was announced in a tweeted video (!). It is:

  • Owain Doull
  • Tao Geoghegan Hart
  • Ian Stannard
  • Ben Swift
  • Geraint Thomas
  • Adam Yates

It has been confirmed that the French team will be built around Julian Alaphilippe.

The protected Dutch riders are to be Mathieu van der Poel and Bauke Mollema. They will be supported by Niki Terpstra, Dylan van Baarle, Mike Teunissen, Sebastian Langeveld, Jos van Emden, and Pieter Weening.

The Belgian team is Remco Evenepoel, Philippe Gilbert, Oliver Naesen, Dylan Teuns, Greg van Avermaet, and three more riders yet to be confirmed at the time of writing.

The USA team is Alex Howes, Lawson Craddock, Chad Haga, and Neilson Powless.

Lawson Craddock
Lawson Craddock in the 2019 World Championship time trial

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: map, facts & figures

Route of elite men's road race, UCI road World Championships 2019
Map of the route of the elite men's road race, ©Welcome to Yorkshire. (See full-size map and a PDF version of the map)

See also a Google map of the race route.

Race details - UCI 2019 elite men's road race
Date Sunday 28th September 2019
Event classification Road race
Distance 280km (route plus 7 circuits)
Climbs Cray (Kidstones pass)
Buttertubs
Grinton Moor

The official stage profile for the elite men's road race:

Profile of elite men's road race, UCI 2019
Profile of elite men's road race, ©Welcome to Yorkshire

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: timings

Timings - UCI 2019 elite men's road race
Place Km Time
Leeds Start of neutralised section 0840
Cookridge Lane 0km 0900
Otley 6.9km 0909
Ilkley 16.3km 0922
Skipton 31.2km 0942
Cray summit 64km 1027
Buttertubs summit 100km 1116
Grinton Moor summit 125.6km 1151
Ripon 164.6km 1244
Harrogate start lap 1 181.8km 1307
Finish line (West Park) 280km 1521

Notes:

  • the distances in the table exclude the neutralised section between Leeds city centre and the start of the racing at Cookridge; the neutralised part of the course is an extra 10.5km
  • these timings are based on the middle speed estimate (44kmh average). Using the fastest estimated speed (46kmh), the arrival time at the finish line would be 1505; using the slowest estimate (42kmh), the time at the finish is 1540

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: poll

Who do you think will win the UCI 2019 elite men's World Championship road race?

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UCI 2019 elite men's road race: where to watch

World Champion bear on Buttertubs
World Champion bear on Buttertubs

Seven ideas for places to watch the elite men's road race, including the start, the climbs in the Yorkshire Dales, and the finishing circuit in Harrogate.

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: the route

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: the start in Leeds

Leeds Civic Hall
Leeds Civic Hall

The elite men's road race starts in Leeds, at Millenium Square, which has Leeds Civic Hall on one side and Leeds City Museum on another. This is the start of the neutralised section, rather than the racing, so it's a procession at a reduced pace as the competitors leave Leeds. That should mean you get a better look at the peloton than if they were at racing speed.

The riders go down Cookridge Street to the Headrow, where they turn right. The Headrow becomes Westgate.

Leeds Headrow/Westgate
The Headrow, Leeds

They go over the A58(M) urban motorway, join Park Lane, and turn right on Hanover Way by the Leeds City College.

Leeds City College
Leeds City College

The College has some signs that demonstrate much of what we've got wrong on our roads in recent decades. We put all the responsibility on potential victims not to get run over, and none of it on the operators of dangerous machinery. Wouldn't it be better to rip out these signs, and put in some big speed bumps and signs to drivers along the lines of 'don't run anyone over'?

Leeds City College stop pedestrian signs
Leeds City College stop pedestrians sign

The race route is past Woodhouse Square and up Clarendon Road. If the students have been out the night before, there might be an opportunity for an impromptu feed zone outside the National Centre for Atmospheric Science.

Clarendon Road, Leeds, outside National Centre for Atmospheric Science
Clarendon Road, Leeds, outside the National Centre for Atmospheric Science

At the top of Clarendon Road, the riders turn left on the A660 Woodhouse Lane. A milepost shows 9 and a half miles to Otley.

Milepost, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds
Woodhouse Lane, Leeds

After the Hyde Park junction, the A660 is called Headingley Lane. The bike lane is reasonably wide, but only painted. Paint isn't good enough: it doesn't give people physical protection from vehicles, and it won't bring about an increase in the number of people riding bikes.

Headingley Lane, Leeds
Headingley Lane, Leeds

Headingley Lane leads, unsurprisingly, to Headingley.

Skyrack, Headingley
Skyrack, Headingley

After Headingley, the A660 is called Otley Road. It passes Leeds Beckett University, then crosses the Ring Road near the Brownlee Centre. The elite men's race forks left off the A660 just after the Ring Road junction, onto Otley Old Road to Cookridge.

Cookridge
Cookridge (and the Tinshill BT telecommunication tower)

The flag goes down and the racing starts at the northern edge of Cookridge.

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: Leeds to Skipton

Otley Old Road
Otley Old Road

From the outskirts of Cookridge, the climbing starts straight away. It's only a modest amount - from 147m up to 233m on top of the Chevin. On the way up, the riders pass within sight of Leeds Bradford airport.

Leeds Bradford airport
Leeds Bradford airport

Otley Old Road becomes East Chevin Road as it drops steeply down to Otley.

Descent to Otley from the Chevin
Descent from the Chevin to Otley

The race takes Gay Lane, Bondgate, and Kirkgate into the centre of Otley (the Black Horse junction).

Black Horse, Otley
Black Horse, Otley

The route is left at the Black Horse, to head out of Otley on the A659, then join the A660 Ilkley Road at the next roundabout. The A660 follows the river Wharfe to Burley-in-Wharfedale. The riders continue towards Ilkley on the A65.

A65, Ilkley
A65, Ilkley

The race leaves Ilkley on the A65, but diverts off it to go through the centre of Addingham.

Addingham
Addingham

After Bracken Ghyll golf club, the riders rejoin the A65, passing Chelker reservoir and heading for Skipton.

A65 to Skipton
A65 to Skipton

A little further on, a left fork on the A6069 leads to Skipton High Street. At the top of the High Street, the route is left (in front of the Skipton church) on the B6265. The B6265 passes the Castle Inn, and crosses Mill Bridge.

Skipton Castle Inn
Skipton Castle Inn

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: Skipton to Kettlewell

Leaving Skipton, the riders are heading for the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Bradt Slow Travel guide to the Yorkshire Dales

Slow Travel guide to the Yorkshire Dales
Slow Travel guide to the Yorkshire Dales

Bradt have published a new 2019 edition of their Slow Travel guide to the Yorkshire Dales.

It's well-researched, logically-ordered, and contains pleasing nature notes. Even those who know the Dales well already are likely to discover new tips and places.

Read more about the Bradt Slow Travel guide to the Yorkshire Dales. Buy the guide on Amazon, or get a 25% discount with the code HEDGEHOG25 if you buy direct on www.bradtguides.com.

They pass through the hamlet of Rylstone, then continue to Cracoe (only slightly larger than Rylstone; known for the Cracoe Reef Knolls).

Cracoe
Cracoe

The next village is Threshfield, which is separated from its near-neighbour, Grassington, by the river Wharfe.

Threshfield
Threshfield

Beyond Threshfield, the race route follows the Wharfe upstream. There are views across the river to Grass Wood. A mile or two later, the riders pass under Kilnsey Crag (see main photo at the top of the page). Then after crossing the river Skirfare near its confluence with the Wharfe, they arrive at Kettlewell.

Bridge in Kettlewell
Bridge in Kettlewell

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: Kettlewell to Hawes

Still following the Wharfe upstream, the riders pass Starbotton, and reach Buckden.

Buckden Village Stores
Buckden Village Stores

After Buckden, the riders must eschew the left fork to Langstrothdale, lovely though it is, and take the right fork next to Cray Gill. This is the start of the Cray climb.

Cray climb

White Lion, Cray
White Lion, Cray

There's plenty of interest on the way up, including the White Lion in the hamlet of Cray, and a number of picturesque waterfalls. After crossing the bridge over the stream, there's one nearly-hairpin bend. Then it's on up past Cow Pasture to Kidstones Pass.

The climb is about 3km, and the height gain from bottom to top is 165m. That means an average gradient of about 5.5%. On the 2014 Tour de France, it was Category 4. The top of the climb, Kidstones Pass, is at 419m. Beyond the pass, the road is undulating, and it reaches its highest point a couple of hundred metres further on, at 424m.

Kidstones Pass
Kidstones Pass

I'm sure there are places in the world which are transformed by rapid development in the space of 4 or 5 years. Luckily, at Cray/Kidstones, not much has changed since I made this video of the climb before the 2014 Tour de France:

Descent into Bishopdale

Bishopdale descent
Descent into Bishopdale

The descent from Kidstones into Bishopdale is quite steep at first - 16%. (It's a slope which will be a test for the junior men, who ride in the opposite direction, so climb Kidstones from the other side).

After the initial steep descent into Bishopdale, the gradient eases. The riders will nevertheless need to remain alert, notably just after passing Ribba Hall, when there's a narrow bridge over Bishopdale Beck, with a right turn onto the bridge and a sharp left turn off it.

Bridge over Bishopdale Beck
Bridge over Bishopdale Beck

Near Newbiggin, there's a pub with clear, no-nonsense signage.

Street Head Inn, Bishopdale
Street Head Inn, Bishopdale

After passing West Burton, the road in Bishopdale (the B6160) meets the A684. Here it's a sharp left turn, and soon after there's a bridge over Bishopdale Beck, again with a bend off the bridge. Then it's up the hill to Aysgarth.

George & Dragon, Aysgarth
George & Dragon, Aysgarth

Wensleydale

The A684 now follows the river Ure upstream. This is Wensleydale (a Yorkshire Dale not named after its river). It's a rolling road, with good views across to the other side of the Ure. The road passes a characterful pub at Worton, the Victoria Arms.

Pub, Worton
Pub, Worton

Then it's on to Bainbridge. On the little hill to your right just as you arrive in Bainbridge, there was a Roman fort. The higher ground at the entrance to Bainbridge gives a good view over the village.

Entrance to Bainbridge
Entrance to Bainbridge

The first business on the left is the garage, which advertises refreshments and newspapers on a rather nice hand-painted sign.

Hand-painted sign, Bainbridge
Hand-painted sign, garage in Bainbridge

As they cross the river Bain, the competitors could look out for the Archimedes screw to their left. The village itself has a large, open green. Leaving Bainbridge, there's a sharp left turn, to stay on the A684. It's quite flat between Bainbridge and Hawes.

A684, Bainbridge to Hawes
A684 Bainbridge to Hawes

The road continues to shadow the river Ure as it takes the riders west, and the scenery either side is classic Yorkshire Dales.

River Ure and Stags Fell, near Hawes
River Ure and Stags Fell, near Hawes

After about 6km, they reach Hawes.

Hawes
View of Hawes

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: Buttertubs and Swaledale

Foot of Buttertubs climb
Crossing the Ure at the foot of Buttertubs

The riders turn right in Hawes, to cross the river Ure. The Buttertubs climb looms ahead.

Buttertubs climb

The height at the start is about 230m. The road climbs towards Simonstone.

Simonstone Hall
Simonstone Hall Hotel

The Simonstone Hall Hotel is more famous now than it was at the time of the 2014 Tour de France, because of Jeremy Clarkson. The BBC says there is a plaque in the hotel, bearing the inscription, 'Here lies the BBC career or Jeremy Clarkson, who had a fracas on this spot, 4th March 2015.'

(At Simonstone, the route is very close to Hardraw Force, England's highest single drop waterfall (100ft); it featured in 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves', as the location of a scene in which Maid Marian sees Mr Hood having a shower).

Just after Simonstone is High Shaw, which has a camp site called Shaw Ghyll. Beyond High Shaw, the road kicks up more steeply, then the gradient eases. Cattle grids rattle your teeth on the way up, and dozy sheep stand in the middle of the road.

Cattle grid, Buttertubs
Cattle grid, Buttertubs

Sheep are not the only fauna in evidence; there are ground-nesting birds including lapwings.

Lapwing, Buttertubs
Lapwing, Buttertubs

The road is open and exposed as it heads to the top of Buttertubs (526m).

Climb of Buttertubs
Buttertubs climb

The total distance of the Buttertubs climb is about 5.5km, the height gain is 296m, and the average gradient is 5.4%. At the top of Buttertubs pass, Great Shunner Fell (716m) is to the left, and Lovely Seat (675m) is to the right.

This is the Buttertubs video I made before the 2014 Tour de France:

This is a video of the riders grinding their way up on Stage 1 of the 2014 TDF.

Just after the top are the Butter Tubs themselves.

Butter Tub, Yorkshire Dales
One of the Butter Tubs

The Butter Tubs are 20m deep limestone potholes. It is said that farmers who took this route to market would rest here, and during hot weather, they would lower the butter they had produced into the potholes to keep it cool.

As the descent begins, there's fencing to the right, and a view of Cliff Beck beyond the barrier.

View of Cliff Beck from Buttertubs
View of Cliff Beck, from Buttertubs

There's one right-hand bend on the steepest part of the descent, soon after the top. It's followed by a left-hand bend, then the road's more or less straight.

Descent from Buttertubs
Descent from Buttertubs

Swaledale

The descent off Buttertubs is a couple of miles, into Swaledale. The route reaches a T-junction, where it's a right turn onto the B6270, which initially runs alongside Straw Beck. There's a humpback bridge over the beck.

Humpback bridge, Swaledale
Humpback bridge over Straw Beck

The first village in Swaledale is Muker.

Muker, Swaledale
Muker

Leaving Muker, the B6270 crosses Straw Beck again (another narrow bridge with tight bends to get onto and off it). Straw Beck soon flows into the river Swale, and the road follows the Swale downstream. It's a pleasant ride in bucolic surroundings.

Swaledale
Swaledale

The road bends left and crosses over to the north side of the Swale at Gunnerside.

Approaching Gunnerside
Approaching Gunnerside

It continues via Low Row, Feetham (home to the Punch Bowl), and Healaugh to Reeth.

Reeth from Grinton Moor
Reeth, seen from Grinton Moor

In Reeth, the riders cross Arkle Beck, then it's back over the Swale to Grinton, and that's where the race leaves Swaledale.

Grinton Bridge Inn
Grinton Bridge Inn

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: Grinton Moor to Leyburn

From Grinton, the Grinton Moor climb begins.

Grinton Moor climb

The riders head up Whipperdale Bank towards Grinton Lodge Youth Hostel.

Grinton Lodge
Grinton Lodge

There's a hairpin bend as the race route crosses Cogden Gill, then it climbs up onto Cogden Moor (with Grinton Moor to the right).

Grinton Moor
Moor above Grinton

This used to be lead mining country, and there was a lead smelt mill on the moor. These days, it's a popular place for cycling.

Cycling up Grinton Moor
Cycling up Grinton Moor

You'll also see red grouse up on the moor, betraying the fact that the landowner manages the land for grouse shooting.

Red grouse, Grinton Moor
Red grouse, Grinton Moor

The Grinton Moor climb is over a distance of about 4.4km, from a height of 180m at the bottom, to 420m at the top. The height gain is 240m, and the average gradient 5.5%. The top of the climb is by Robin Cross Hill.

This is a video of the climb, which I made before the 2014 Tour de France:

This video gives an impression of the excitement generated when the 2014 Tour de France came up Grinton Moor.

From the top, the riders descend Whipperdale Bank past an army firing range, Bellerby Ranges. Red flags fly when shooting is taking place, and you can hear and see the soldiers firing. The more you don't wander onto the range on red flag days, the less you get shot.

Descent of Grinton Moor
Descent of Grinton Moor

The race continues gently downhill to Leyburn.

Police station, Leyburn
Leyburn Police Station

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: Leyburn to Ripon

In Leyburn, the peloton passes the market place.

Shortly after, the route takes a right turn to cross the river Ure on Middleham Bridge. The bridge's machicolations give it more of an air of history and grandeur than it perhaps deserves, but they echo the architecture of the genuinely historic Middleham Castle.

Middleham Bridge
Middleham Bridge

It's then slightly uphill to Middleham, a village better known for racing with four legs than two wheels.

Middleham
Middleham

A mile or so after Middleham, the riders reach the Cover Bridge Inn at Ulshaw.

Cover Bridge Inn
Cover Bridge Inn

The bridge by the inn is a proper humpback job. It spans the river Cover, near to the Cover's confluence with the Ure.

Cover Bridge
Cover Bridge

After crossing the Cover, the peloton will ride gradually uphill to East Witton.

Looking towards East Witton
Looking towards East Witton

The pub there is the Blue Lion. The village has an elegant church.

Church at East Witton
Church at East Witton

The next point of interest on the road (the A6108) is Jervaulx Abbey.

Jervaulx Abbey
Jervaulx Abbey

There are bends, dips, and rises as the A6108 takes the riders south east, but the run to Masham is likely to be fast. In Masham, the riders bend left down to the river. They'll see the Black Sheep Brewery on their left.

Black Sheep Brewery, Masham
Black Sheep Brewery, Masham

Then they cross the bridge over the Ure.

Bridge over the Ure at Masham
Bridge over the Ure, Masham

The next settlement, 6km after Masham, is West Tanfield, on the river Ure.

Donkeys at West Tanfield
Donkeys at West Tanfield

Leaving West Tanfield, the A6108 is relatively flat, and the peloton should charge through North Stainley.

North Stainley
North Stainley

Kingfishers thrive on the river Ure in this area.

Kingfisher near North Stainley
Kingfisher on the river Ure near North Stainley

After North Stainley, it's on past Lightwater Valley amusement park to Ripon.

Ripon market place
Ripon market place

In Ripon, the riders turn right on North Street, which takes them to the market place. Then it's along Kirkgate, Duck Hill, and King Street over the river Skell. After crossing the river, they are on Bondgate, then they take Quarry Moor Lane to Harrogate Road, which in turn brings them to the A61.

A61 Ripon-Harrogate sign
A61 Ripon to Harrogate sign

The competitors are now on the A61 all the way to Harrogate. It goes through Wormald Green and past South Stainley to Ripley. After the second roundabout at Ripley, there's a pedestrian/cycle/horse/puffin crossing, where the Nidderdale Greenway intersects with the A61.

(Using the crossing leaves you in no doubt that North Yorkshire County Council gives priority to motor vehicles. It's thought that ZZ Top's beards grew while they were cycling the Nidderdale Greenway and waiting for the lights to change here. If you're expecting to use this crossing, bring a crossword, and, as a precaution, enough food and water to sustain you for a few days).

Then the road goes over the river Nidd, and climbs slightly to Killinghall.

Three Horseshoes, Killinghall
Three Horseshoes, Killinghall

After Killinghall, the road dips down to Oak Beck, then rises slightly again as it comes into Harrogate.

The competitors will enter Harrogate at the New Park roundabout. They pass Chevin Cycles on the left, and Harrogate Hydro swimming pool on the right. Then it's uphill to the Cairn Hotel, down for a short distance, right on Swan Road past the Mercer Art Gallery, and left at the Royal Pump Room Museum on Crescent Road.

The riders head up Parliament Street to cross the start/finish line on West Park. Then they have seven laps of the Harrogate circuit to do.

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: the Harrogate circuit

Parliament Street, Harrogate
Parliament Street, Harrogate

The riders will have done just short of 180km when they arrive in Harrogate. The Harrogate circuit is up Otley Road to Beckwithshaw, right on the B6161 Pot Bank/Oaker Bank, right on Penny Pot Lane down to Oak Beck, steeply up Penny Pot Lane/Cornwall Road/Harlow Moor Road, down Harlow Moor Drive alongside the Valley Gardens to the Royal Pump Rooms, up the other side of the Valley Gardens on Cornwall Road, then Hereford Road and Kent Road back to the A61 Ripon Road, and the start/finish point of the circuit.

The men's road race finishes on West Park at the junction with Victoria Avenue and Beech Grove.

UCI 2019 West Park finish line, Harrogate
West Park finish line, Harrogate

All photos ©HedgehogCycling. To enquire about using any photos, contact me by email: info@hedgehogcycling.co.uk.

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: favourites

Julian Alaphilippe
Julian Alaphilippe at the 2019 Tour de France, by Département des Yvelines, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

I think the course is too hard for pure sprinters. The ride up Penny Pot Lane/Cornwall Road from Oak Beck isn't long, but it's a steep little climb, and doing it seven times is going to be tough.

Among the favourites could be Peter Sagan and Greg van Avermaet. John Degenkolb has said that this is a target, and it could be the type of parcours to suit him. After winning Stage 12 of the Vuelta, Philippe Gilbert said that the Yorkshire Worlds are what have motivated him in training this season. Remco Evenepoel is Belgium's Third Man, and despite his young age, he could become World Champion.

The young Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel is a favourite for many analysts. Italy's team is built around Matteo Trentin, second in the Tour of Britain in August 2019, and who thinks he still has a little more form to find. Michael Matthews of Australia is another rider who is strong enough to last the distance and get over the lumpy course, but still has a fast finish.

Perhaps the most talented all-rounder in 2019 is Julian Alaphilippe.

Read about favourites for the elite men's road race at the UCI 2019 Yorkshire Worlds.

UCI 2019 elite men's road race: comments

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OtleyBainbridgeParliament Street, Harrogate