Tour de France & UCI road World Championships

Tour de France knitted mini-jerseys

Elite women's road race

Cote de Lofthouse
Côte de Lofthouse

The elite women's road race at the 2019 UCI road World Championships in Yorkshire starts in Bradford and makes its way north to Shipley and Otley, before the climb of Norwood Edge. It continues north to Pateley Bridge, then past Gouthwaite reservoir to Lofthouse, which marks the start of the Côte de Lofthouse climb. The elite women then race down to Masham, and on to West Tanfield and Ripon.

The route towards Harrogate takes in Bishop Thornton, Shaw Mills, Birstwith, and Hampsthwaite. The A59 brings the riders to the New Park roundabout; they then take the A61 Ripon Road towards the centre of Harrogate, but do three laps of the Harrogate circuit before the finish on West Park.

Elite women's road race: facts, figures, and map

Route map, elite women's road race, 2019 UCI World Champs
Official route map of elite women's road race, © Welcome to Yorkshire, (See full-size map)

See also a Google map of the race route.

Race details - UCI 2019 elite women's road race
Date Saturday 28th September 2019
Event classification Road race
Distance 149.5km (route plus 3 circuits)
Climbs Norwood Edge

The official race profile for the elite women's road race:

Profile of the elite women's road race
Profile of elite women's road race, © Welcome to Yorkshire

Elite women's road race: timings

Timings to follow.

Elite women's road race: the route

Elite women's road race: the start in Bradford

The elite women's road race starts in Bradford (ceremonial start).

During a fairly long neutralised section, the riders head out of the city on the A650 Manningham Lane/Keighley Road, then fork left on Otley Road to Shipley. They leave Shipley on the A6038. The flag goes down and the racing starts on the A6038 near Baildon.

Elite women's road race: Hollins Hill to Otley

White Cross, Guiseley
White Cross, Guiseley

The route takes the A6038 up Hollins Hill. Then it's down to White Cross, site of the original Harry Ramsdens (now a Wetherby Whaler). From White Cross, the riders take the A65 to Menston, and the A6038 to Otley. (It's appropriate that the elite women's race should pass through Lizzie Deignan's home town).

Bridge over Wharfe, Otley
Bridge over the river Wharfe in Otley...used by the local people to test their car engine's idling speed

At the central crossroads in Otley, by the Black Bull pub, it's left down to the bridge over the Wharfe.

Elite women's road race: Otley to Pateley Bridge

After crossing the Wharfe, the riders turn right on Farnley Lane, and a little further on, left to Farnley. There'll be no time to stop and admire the chapel - apart from Annemiek van Vleuten, who probably could and still catch up.

Chapel at Farnley
Chapel at Farnley

From Farnley, there's a really nice rolling (but mainly downhill) stretch of road to the bridge across the end of Lindley Wood reservoir.

Cyclists starting the Norwood Edge climb
Cyclists starting the Norwood Edge climb

LIndley Wood reservoir marks the start of the Norwood Edge climb. The height is 97m at the start, and the steepest bit comes quite soon. The road goes through woods on the second part of the climb. The top is at 266m. From here, there's a nice, open view towards Bland Hill, and Menwith Hill beyond.

View from Norwood Edge
View from Norwood Edge

It's an exhilarating whizz down towards Bland Hill. This is kestrel country.

Kestrel near Fewston reservoir
Kestrel at Bland Hill

The road passes the Sun Inn.

Sun Inn
The Sun Inn

The race route crosses the A59 at Dangerous Corner, and continues via Darley to Dacre; then it's on to Pateley Bridge and Lofthouse.

Côte de Lofthouse

From Lofthouse, the road rises steeply up towards the moors above the village. This is a climb that the Tour de Yorkshire included recently, the Côte de Lofthouse.

Cote de Lofthouse

Aqua e Sapone rider makes light work of the Côte de Lofthouse

Côte de Lofthouse to Ripon

Ripon to Harrogate

The competitors reach Bishop Thornton; there's a near right-angle bend to the left in the village.

Sharp bend in Bishop Thornton
Sharp bend in Bishop Thornton

Another sharp left bend at Cut Throat Lane marks the start of a steep descent to Shaw Mills (or W Mill, as the sign would have it).

Sign to Shaw Mills
Sign to Shaw Mills

There's a sharp bend to the right at the bottom of the hill, and to the left when crossing Thornton Beck in Shaw Mills. The road (Pye Lane) climbs the other side of Shaw Mills, but it's a nice steady gradient.

The route crosses the B6165, and follows Clint Bank down to the river Nidd at Birstwith. A blue and yellow bike at the Station Hotel testifies to the fact that the Tour de Yorkshire has been this way.

Station Hotel, Birstwith
Station Hotel, Birstwith

Although Birstwith has a Station Hotel, it no longer has a station, nor a railway. The dismantled railway could soon be turned  into an extension to the Nidderdale Greenway, though.

Dale Stores, Birstwith
Dales Stores, Birstwith

The route passes the Post Office and shop on the way out of Birstwith. There's a short but fairly steep climb up to Clapham Green (14%, according to the road sign). Then it's downhill to cross Tang Beck, and arrive at Hampsthwaite, another village on the river Nidd.

Elite women's road race: the finishing circuit

Bridge over Oak Beck, Penny Pot Lane
Bridge over Oak Beck, Penny Pot Lane

The women's road race finishes with three laps of the Harrogate circuit.

Elite women's road race: favourites

Lizzy Deignan, Annemiek van Vleuten.

Elite women's road race: comments

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Women's individual time trial

The elite women's individual time trial at the UCI road World Championships 2019 in Yorkshire.

Read about the women's ITT.

Elite women's road race: towns, sights and attractions

Elite women's road race: Harrogate


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.

Royal Pump Rooms, Harrogate

Royal Pump Rooms, Harrogate

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.

Betty's tea rooms Harrogate

Read more about Harrogate.

Elite women's road race:


HarrogateLes Sables-d'OlonneFontenay-le-Comte