Tour de France & UCI road World Championships
The elite men's individual time trial at the 2019 UCI road World Championships in Yorkshire is a 54km route. It starts in Northallerton, and heads south to Morton-on-Swale, then crosses the A1M at Leeming Bar. The next town on the route is Bedale, then just after the 20km point comes Masham.
From Masham, the route is one that is popular with local cyclists: Grewelthorpe, Kirkby Malzeard, and Risplith, then onto Ripley. At Ripley, the riders join the A61 (not popular with this local cyclist). The A61 leads to Harrogate, and it's up Parliament Street for a finish on West Park.
I suggest that it's not a technical course, in that there are no really difficult turns. There are no major climbs, either, but the route does cross a series of becks and rivers, where the road descends to a bridge, then kicks up for a short distance the other side.
|Date||Wednesday 25th September 2019|
|Event classification||Individual time trial|
The official race profile for the elite men's individual time trial:
Timings to follow.
The elite men's individual time trial starts in the Capital of North Yorkshire (well, the county town), Northallerton.
The riders are on the A167 as they head south out of town, and soon there's a level crossing. Bike races have had trouble with level crossings before, but I imagine there won't be any problem this time.
The route soon forks right on the A684. This takes the competitors over the river Wiske, and through Ainderby Steeple.
Next on the route is Morton-on-Swale, and leaving the village, the road crosses the river Swale.
Here, the time trial is shadowing the route of the Wensleydale Railway towards Leeming Bar and Bedale. There's a nice-looking farm shop and café on the left.
Just after Spring House Farm Shop, there's a roundabout.
The right turn at the roundabout is the new A684, towards a new A1M junction; the men's individual time trial takes the left turn, going through Leeming Bar, then crossing the A1M to reach Aiskew. After Aiskew, the competitors go over Bedale Beck and over the railway line, to Bedale.
The riders arrive in Bedale on Bridge Street, and cross almost straight over Market Place to Sussex Street (the B6268 to Masham). The B6268 passes close to Thorp Perrow Arobretum. It's rolling countryside here.
Eventually, the B6268 reaches a junction with the B6267. It's a right turn there. Up to this point, there have been no real hills, and no technical turns. This bend won't cause any issues either, but the racers will at least want to look at it, and decide on the fastest line.
The B6267 soon meets the A6108 at Low Burton. On the A-road, the competitors cross the river Ure, and go up a little ramp to Masham.
In Masham, the route is Silver Street to the Market Place, Church Street, and Park Street leaving the town.
Park Street turns into Thorpe Road, and heads past Nutwith Common/Oak Bank, then sharply uphill near the entrance to Hackfall Woods just before arriving at Grewelthorpe.
In Grewelthorpe, there's a right-left dogleg to get onto the road to Kirkby Malzeard. These are great roads for cycling. Approaching Kirkby Malzeard, the riders will fork left, onto a road that has been re-surfaced (late autumn 2018), and is now nearly as smooth as Henry Iglesias. They follow the road down to cross the bridge over Kex Beck (being careful of the ducks).
Then it's sharply uphill to Kirkby Malzeard.
Arriving in Kirkby Malzeard, the route is straight across Main Street, onto Warren Lane. Here, you're still on enjoyable cycling roads, sometimes with hedges either side. There's a little dip down to Holborn Beck (a tributary of the river Laver).
After crossing the beck, Gate Bridge Road takes the time triallists up the hill to High Grantley.
The pub in High Grantley has a friendly cat.
Leaving High Grantley, you get a view over the valley of the river Skell (which is where you're going next). On a winter's afternoon, the valley sides echo to the sound of shotguns; it seems that killing wildlife is a major hobby in this area.
It's a fairly steep descent through the woods, and past a sawmill, to the river Skell and Grantley Hall. What goes down must come back up again, and sure enough, there's a little climb up towards Risplith.
At the junction with the B6265, if a rider takes a glance to his left, he'll see G&T's, still (October 2018) in its rather magnificent 2014 Tour de France livery. Will it get a World Championships rainbow jersey makeover?
It's a right turn on the B6265, though, then after a short distance left to Sawley.
Nicely-dressed dummies and other figures were distributed around Sawley for the Tour de France.
After going through the village of Sawley, the route reaches a T-junction at the entrance to Sawley Hall. Here, the competitors turn right down the hill past Hebden Bridge Farm to the bridge over Hebden Gill (around 114m).
Then there's a climb up through Hebden Wood. I think it's the steepest one on the course - I chugged up it even more slowly than the other ones, anyway.
After the top of the hill (148m) there's a little downhill past Careless House Farm. (Presumably the name is meant to imply that you forget your troubles, not that you're always trying to use a combine harvester to wash your clothes by mistake). Then there's just a bit more uphill, before the road levels out and straightens out past Duke's Place.
This is now Fountains Abbey Road, which takes the competitors past the Chequers Inn.
A little further on, there's a descent of Scarah Bank to the B6165.
Many of the photos here feature the leaden skies of a January day; on Scarah Bank, there was just a glimmer of sunshine for a few moments.
At the bottom of Scarah Bank, turning left on the B6165, it's only a short distance to Ripley.
(A lot of local rides from Harrogate come back to Ripley this way, and that little stretch on the B6165 is a real stinker. The width of the road and its bends, coupled with many drivers' impatience and lack of consideration for people riding bikes, mean that you're almost guaranteed one or more dangerous close passes. Protected bike lanes as the best option, or as a poor second some signs asking people to leave plenty of room, are needed).
The riders take the main A61 past Ripley, rather than going along Main Street in Ripley itself. They'll be very close to the village, though, and they pass right by the Tour de France monument made by an expert dry stone waller in 2014, as a rather nice memento of that event.
From Ripley, the time trial takes the main A61 over the river Nidd, through Killinghall, and into Harrogate via the New Park (or Little Wonder) roundabout. After passing the Claro Beagle, it's uphill.
Like many of the other World Championship races, this one takes a little diversion - right on Swan Road, then left on Crescent Road.
Crescent Road brings the competitors back to the junction near the Royal Hall.
Then it's up Parliament Street, onto West Park.
The elite men's individual time trial at the 2019 UCI World Championships finishes on West Park near its junction with Victoria Avenue, at the finish line used for all the races.
Tom Dumoulin, Primoz Roglic, Geraint Thomas, Jos van Emden, Chris Froome, Rohan Dennis.
Geraint Thomas says that he will have a team role in the elite men's road race, helping Ben Swift and Mark Cavendish. That course doesn't suit his characteristics - the road race will be won by someone who can stay near the front when it's hard and hilly, but still produce a sprint at the finish.
That means that the time trial is the Welshman's best hope for a medal. Thomas can produce a top-class time trial: for example, he won the time trial on Stage 1 of the Tour de France 2017, in Duesseldorf.
In this video (January 2019) courtesy of Team Sky, Thomas says he is looking forward to the time trial at the Yorkshire World Championships:
(Geraint preferred the blue curtain to the orange one. He spent ages rotating the plastic stool one way, then realised he was raising it, when he wanted to lower it. He got four passport photos (all the same shot) for £3.50).
All photos © HedgehogCycling (except when other credit stated)
The elite men's road race at the UCI road World Championships 2019 in Yorkshire starts in Leeds. It heads into the Yorkshire Dales, then comes back east to Harrogate. There are seven laps of the Harrogate circuit before the finish.
Read about the 2019 UCI men's road race.
Northallerton is the county town of North Yorkshire, and has a population of 16,832 (2011 census).
The earliest settlement at Northallerton was a Roman military camp. After the Romans, Saxons lived at Northallerton, and built a wooden church in the 600s, and a stone church in 855. In the 900s, Danes settled in the area. In the Domesday Book, the settlement was described as Alvertune. The name may mean Aelfere's or Alfred's farm, or it may refer to Alder trees.
In the 1100s, Northallerton was given to the Bishop of Durham, and became an important religious centre.
Northallerton also developed into a market town, with cattle, sheep, and horses sold. It had four coaching inns, serving passengers on routes between London and Edinburgh. In 1841, the railway came to Northallerton (London to Edinburgh line). There was also a line to Ripon, closed in 1969 following the Beeching report.
Today, Northallerton still hosts livestock auctions. It is the HQ of North Yorkshire County Council, and Hambleton District Council. There is some light industry and commerce.
The High Street is thriving, but completely cluttered with cars - parked ones and crawling ones. Can't they be got rid of? Perhaps the only way to do it is to hold a bike race, but then it's just for a day.
Leeming Bar was on the original Great North Road, Roman Dere Street; the word 'bar' refers to the fact that there was a toll station here, removed in 1840 (Wikipedia). Leeming Bar has a station on the Wensleydale Railway, and it's the railway's main depot.
Bedale is a small town near the A1, between the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. It's on Bedale Beck, a tributary of the river Swale.
The Bedale Hoard was found in 2012. There are silver and gold items from the C9th and C10th, now in the Yorkshire Museum.
Bedale has a station on the Wensleydale railway.
Masham has a population of 1,205 (2011 census). Its name is Anglo-Saxon in origin, coming from Maessa's Ham, meaning homestead or village belonging to Maessa.
A settlement was built here by the Angles, probably because the site is close to the river Ure, but rises just high enough above it to be safe from flooding. It is also on the old Roman road from York to Wensleydale. (Signs of a Roman presence, likely a marching camp, have been found at Roomer Common).
In about 900AD, Vikings invaded, and destroyed the church at Masham. The present church has the stump of a prayer cross from the 700s, but most of the structure is Norman, with some additions from the C15th. It was the Vikings who introduced sheep to the region.
The most striking feature of Masham is its very big market place. The town was granted a charter for a market in 1250, and the market place needed to be large to accommodate the many sheep brought here by the monks of Jervaulx and Fountains Abbeys. There's a market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Masham is known for it breweries - Theakstons and Black Sheep. The Theakson family had brewed Theakstons beer in Masham for six generations, but the Theakstons brewery was taken over by Scottish & Newcastle. Rather than work for a multi-national, Paul Theakston set up a new brewery in an old building (the former premises of Lightfoot's brewery) in Masham, and the Black Sheep Brewery was born in 1992. Black Sheep is available in many of the pubs in and around Masham. The brewery also has a visitor centre.
The Theakston family regained control of Theakstons in 2003, and this brewery also has a visitor centre. Their best known beer is Old Peculiar.
Events in Masham include the Steam Engine & Fair Organ Rally, and the bi-annual Arts Festival.
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.