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UCI 2019 para-cycling road races

Westwood Pasture, Beverley
Westwood Pasture, Beverley

The para-cycling road races at the 2019 UCI road World Championships in Yorkshire are from Beverley via Tadcaster, Wetherby, and Knaresborough to Harrogate.

The event is described as Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International, and will be the biggest day of para-cycling ever held. Entries are welcome from every Paralympic road racing classification. The Paralympics website confirms that there are to be races covering every classification. Qualification points towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics will be available at the Yorkshire event.

Yorkshire 2019 Chair Chris Piling said, 'We have pledged to deliver an inclusive, innovative, and inspiring UCI Road World Championships that brings the world closer. We are therefore enormously excited to be the first host to integrate para-cycling into the programme.'

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: map, facts & figures

UCI 2019 para-cycling race route map
Map of the para-cycling route, ©Welcome to Yorkshire. (See full-size map)

Race details - UCI 2019 para-cycling road races
Date Saturday 21st September 2019
Event classification Road race
Distance 93km (route only)
Intermediate starts Tadcaster - TBC
Wetherby - TBC
Knaresborough - TBC

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: timings

Timings to follow.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: the route

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: the start at Beverley

Beverley Market Place
Beverley Market Place

The start of the C1 road race is at Beverley. The ceremonial start is certain to be at Beverley Market Place, as it was on Stage 1 of the Tour de Yorkshire 2018. The competitors will head west out of Beverley on the A1174 York Road, across Westwood Pasture and past Beverley racecourse, to the roundabout junction with the A1035/1079.

Westwood Pasture, Beverley
Beverley races

Immediately after the roundabout, the flag goes down and the racing begins.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Beverley to Tadcaster

The A1079 heads through Bishop Burton, then across Cherry Burton Wold. This is part of the Yorkshire Wolds, an area of rolling chalk hills, cut by by steep-sided, flat-bottomed glacial valleys (Wikipedia). The road reaches 146m at Weighton Hill, before descending to Market Weighton.

In Market Weighton, the route is Sancton Road/Southgate to the High Street, then out of town on Holme Road. The riders continue across Weighton Common, then join the A614 to Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, which is a rather sprawling village. Here, they are on the route of Stage 1, Tour de Yorkshire 2016, as far as Tadcaster.

Blacksmiths Arms, Holme-on-Spalding-Moor...by the looks of the wires on the front of the pub, they might need an electrician more than a blacksmith

This is flat, low-lying land - Holme-on-Spalding-Moor, for example is 11m above sea level. From there, the route continues on the A163 to Foggathorpe.

Black Swan, Foggathorpe
Black Swan (Bombay Clay Oven), Foggathorpe

The next villages are Harlthorpe and Bubwith.

White Swan, Bubwith
White Swan, Bubwith

Leaving Bubwith, the A163 crosses the river Derwent, and continues to North Duffield. After passing Osgodby Common Stud Farm, the route meets the A19 at Barlby. Here, it's right on the A19 to Riccall.

The riders go into Riccall on Main Street, and exit on Kelfield Road, passing close to a bend of the river Ouse, and reaching Kelfield.

After Kelfield, a left turn on the B1222 takes the competitors to Cawood, which is close to the confluence of the Wharfe and Ouse. Then it's right in Cawood, on the B1223, following the Wharfe upstream to Ryther.


The next village is Ulleskelf. Beyond Ulleskelf, the B1223 meets the A162. A right turn here leads to Tadcaster.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Tadcaster to Wetherby

There's an intermediate start in Tadcaster.

The route crosses the bridge over the Wharfe, before heading left off the main road, to Easedike and Wighill. There, it's left, skirting the north edge of the Thorp Arch trading estate, before taking a right turn on Rudgate, then a left on the B1224 past Bickerton. The riders continue towards Wetherby.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Wetherby to Knaresborough

Reaching the outskirts of Wetherby, the race route goes past Wetherby racecourse and over the A1M. It then joins the B6164, which takes the riders along the High Street, and close to the Wharfe, before turning 270 degrees at a mini-roundabout and going up Market Place.

They leave town on the A661 Harrogate Road, which takes them all the way to Spofforth.

Spofforth Castle
Spofforth Castle

Spofforth is the start of the Harland Way walking and cycling route along a disused railway trackbed. A sign near the start tells you that it is part of a planned Harrogate to York route. It was in the 1990s that the current section was opened. It's 2019 now so, I suggest, high time for local authorities to give Sustrans the permissions and funds to get on with it. Please get on with it as a priority.

In Spofforth, the competitors turn right to cross Crimple Beck, still on the A661. On the far side of the bridge, where the A-road turns sharp left, the race route diverges onto Ribston Road - a delightful narrow country lane to Little Ribston. At Little Ribston, the riders join the B6164, which takes them to Knaresborough.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Knaresborough to Harrogate

In Knaresborough, the race route joins the A59, then takes the B6165 Ripley Road, which runs to the north of the river Nidd and takes them to Ripley. Then it's south on the A61 towards Harrogate and the finish

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: extended circuit via Scotton, Burton Leonard, and Wormald Green

For certain categories, a longer route is required, and these competitors will fork off the B6165 to Scotton, and continue via Copgrove to Burton Leonard and Wormald Green; from Wormald Green, they take the A61 south via South Stainley to Ripley, and rejoin the main route there.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: the finish in Harrogate

The races come into town on the route that will become familiar during the World Championships in Harrogate - A61 Ripon Road, right on Swan Road, left on Crescent Road, right on Parliament Street, and onto West Park and the finish line.

It was originally planned that there would be laps of the Harrogate circuit, but as I understand it, with the revised route via Knaresborough, this is no longer the case.

Para-cycling classification

There are codes for the different classifications in para-cycling, and they are:

  • C1-C5: C is for cycling, as the athletes ride a standard bicycle, but have physical impairments that mean they can't compete in able-bodied events
  • H1-H5: H is for handbike. Athletes have lower limb impairment so they have to use a hand cycle
  • T1-T5: T is for tricycle. Athletes have an impairment that affects their balance, but can use a tricycle
  • B or TCB: B is for blind, TCB is for tandem class blind. These are two different names for the same class, for athletes who are blind or visually-impaired, and compete together with a sighted pilot on a tandem

The codes are preceded by M (men) or W (women).

Source: Wikipedia. See also the Paralympic Games classification page.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: favourites

To be added.

All photos © Hedgehog Cycling (except where other credit stated)

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: comments

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UCI 2019 junior men's individual time trial

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

Read about the men's ITT.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: towns, sights and attractions

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Beverley

Beverley Minster
Beverley Minster

Beverley is a market town, and the county town of the East Riding of Yorkshire. It has a population of 30,587 people (2011 census). 


Beverley was founded around 700AD by St John of Beverley, who was Bishop Of York, and who built a church and founded a monastery here. At the time it was called Inderawuda (in the wood of the men of Deira), but its name was changed to Bevreli (beaver lake). In Anglo-Saxon times, Beverley became one of the most important Christian centres in northern England.

After the Norman conquest, many pilgrims visited Beverley, inspired by stories of miracles associated with John of Beverley. Beverley was also a trading town, selling wool to cloth makers in the Low Countries. By 1377, it was the tenth largest town in England.

Thereafter, Beverley declined gently, albeit it was still the main market town for the surrounding area. While Hull was bombed during World War II, Beverley escaped largely unscathed.

Some of the historic entrances to the town, such as the brick-built bars, were taken down due to an increase in population, but the North Bar remains.

Beverley North Bar
North Bar, Beverley

Beverley today

Beverley has the oldest state school in England, Beverley Grammar School, which was founded by John of Beverley in 700AD. Thomas Percy, who was involved in the gunpowder plot, went there, as did goalie Paul Robinson.

As well as the Minster, which has a tomb containing the bones of John of Beverley, there are two other C of E churches, St Mary's and St Nicholas.

St Mary's church, Beverley
St Mary's church, Beverley

There's also a Roman Catholic church, three Methodist churches, and a Quaker meeting house.

Beverley market place
Beverley Market Place

The main market day is Saturday, with a smaller market on Wednesdays. There are plenty of cafés in Beverley, and many (over 40) pubs.

Cafe Velo, Beverley
Café Vélo, Beverley

Beverley has a well-known racecourse to the west of the town centre.

Beverley races
Beverley races

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Market Weighton

Market Weighton is a market town with a population of 6,429. The charter to hold a market was granted in 1251.

Market Weighton was home to William Bradley (born 1787), the Yorkshire Giant, who was 7ft9 at the age of 20.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Riccall

Village store, Riccall
Riccall village store

Riccall is on the Humberhead Levels, near the river Ouse. During the last ice age, it was under the Glacial Lake Humber, and as a result, the area has light, sandy soil.

There is evidence of an Anglo-Saxon church on the site of the current St Mary's (the current church having been built after the Norman conquest). 

In 1066, Harald Hadrada made camp at Riccall before his victory in the Battle of Fulford, after sailing up the Humber Estuary and the Ouse. Shortly afterwards, he lost the Battle of Stamford Bridge to Harold Godwinson, and was killed. There's an information panel at the bottom of Landing Lane, where Hadrada moored.

There was coal mining at Riccall Mine between 1983 and 2004.

Riccall is at the end (or start, depending on your point of view) of the off-road cycle path, Cycle the Solar System, part of the York to Selby cycle route.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Cawood

Cawood Castle Gatehouse
Cawood Castle North Yorkshire, 2011 07 28 Cawood-25, by Keith Laverack, Flickr, Licence CC BY-ND 2.0

Cawood is said to get its name from the calls of the crows in nearby woods. 

Cawood Castle was one of the main residences of the Archbishop of York, and the village grew up around the castle. The Archbishops were forced to leave at the time of the English Reformation. Cardinal Wolsey was arrested at Cawood by Henry VIII's men, and the the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty is believed to be based on this event. The castle is now in ruins, but the Gatehouse survives, and you can stay there - it's a Landmark Trust property.

Cawood has a connection with Dick Turpin, who is said to have forded the Ouse here when he escaped to York. The only other way to cross the river was by ferry, until Cawood Bridge was built in 1872.

There are three pubs in Cawood - the Jolly Sailor, the Ferry Inn, and the Castle Inn.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Tadcaster

John Smith's Brewery, Tadcaster
John Smith's Brewery, Tadcaster, by Tim Green, Flicker, Licence CC BY 2.0

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 has been quarried since Roman times, and which was used in building York Minster.

There was a Norman motte and bailey castle here, built in the C11th. There were wooden bridges across 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

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.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Wetherby

Wetherby Town Hall

Wetherby Town Hall, Tim Green, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

Wetherby is a market town by the A1, in the City of Leeds and the county of West Yorkshire. It was mentioned in Domesday Book as Wedrebi, meaning either ram-farm or settlement on the bend of the river. The population is 11,242 (2011 census).


The Knights Templar and Knights Hospitallers owned land in the area (Ribston Park), and in 1240 the Knights Templar were granted the right to hold a market in Wetherby, by Royal Charter from Henry III.

In the early 1300s, Wetherby was raided by the Scots, and the town was burned and many inhabitants killed or captured. 

The first mail coach arrived in Wetherby in 1786. The Great North Road passed through the town, and a large number of coaching inns were established to cater for travellers.

During World War II, there was an RAF station at nearby Tockwith, renamed RAF Marston Moor to avoid confusion with RAF Topcliffe. Clark Gable was stationed there. Part of the airfield is now used as a driver training centre.

Wetherby today

Wetherby cinema

Wetherby's Cinema, Tim Green, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

Wetherby has some manufacturing, mainly on Sandbeck Way and Sandbeck Lane - for example, Goldenfry gravy brand. There's also a Young Offender Institution, a cinema, a racecourse, and several sports clubs, including football, rugby league, rugby union, cricket, bowling, golf, and tennis.

Crown Inn, Wetherby

The Crown, Wetherby, Tim Green, Flickr, Licence CC BY 2.0

At one time, Wetherby had seventeen pubs, but only eleven now remain.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Spofforth

Spofforth Castle
Spofforth Castle

Spofforth is a village on Crimple Beck, a tributary of the river Nidd (Wikipedia).

The most interesting feature of Spofforth is its castle, which dates from Norman times. William de Percy was a Norman noble, who was favoured by William the Conqueror. Percy built a manor house here in the C11th, after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is said that rebel barons drew up the Magna Carta here in 1215.

The manor house was fortified in the 1300s. In 1461, during the Wars of the Roses, it was burnt down, and lay in ruins until 1559, when it was restored by Henry, Lord Percy.

The castle was again reduced to ruins in the 1600s, during the English civil war. It was given to the state in 1924, and now belongs to English Heritage. It's free to visit, and makes a nice place for a picnic on a sunny day, watching the red kites surf the winds overhead.

Spofforth Castle pub
Spofforth Castle pub

There are two pubs in Spofforth, the Castle and the Railway. The latter's name betrays the fact that Spofforth was on the Harrogate to Church Fenton Line from 1847 until 1966.

Harland Way
Harland Way

From Spofforth to Wetherby, and beyond to Thorp Arch, the old trackbed is used as a walking and cycling route, the Harland Way. On a map, you can see that the trackbed extends from Spofforth to Harrogate, to the west, and from Thorp Arch to Tadcaster, to the east. What about opening up a cycle and footpath on these sections? Ideally soon, not in 50 years' time.

Also, the Harland Way is supposed to be part of a Harrogate to York route, but it was built in 1992, and we're still waiting for the rest. Could we get on with it now please?

Road-builder Blind Jack Metcalf of Knaresborough, lived in Spofforth in the latter part of his life, and is buried in the churchyard.

UCI 2019 para-cycling road races: Harrogate

The War Memorial, Bettys, and Cambridge Crescent, 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
Bettys tea rooms, Harrogate

Read more about Harrogate.

Beverley Market PlaceView of the ruins of Spofforth CastleParliament Street, Harrogate