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Roadside viewing: Where to watch the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships

Some of the roadside spots where you can catch a glimpse of Yorkshire 2019. Photos: Alex Wright, Myles Warwood, Simon Renilson, Offside

Myles Warwood
19 Sep 2019

Since welcoming the Tour de France in 2014, Yorkshire has embraced cycling. From this weekend, Yorkshire welcomes the world of cycling to compete for the coveted rainbow jersey.

Where to watch is as important as choosing where to go on your next cycling holiday. Lucky for you, like a busy travel agent, I’ve scoured the maps and race timetables to find the best that Yorkshire has to offer.

Where to watch the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships from the roadside

 

Para-Cycling International, Mixed Team Time Trial Relay, Men’s and Women’s Junior Time Trials

Para-Cycling International: Beverley/Tadcaster/Wetherby to Harrogate, 21st September, 12:00-17:00  
Mixed Team Time Trial Relay: Harrogate Circuit (two laps), 22nd September 2019, 13:10–15:40  
Women’s Junior Time Trial: Harrogate Circuit (one laps), 23rd September 2019, 10:10–11:45  
Men’s Junior Time Trial: Harrogate Circuit (two laps), 23rd September 2019, 13:10–16:45

A few points of interest to watch from and they're in Harrogate’s city centre.

Stand next to the Pump House Museum (pictured above in a recent ride feature), you’ll see the riders come down Valley Drive, up Cornwall Road and then they will come back to you via Swan Road before wheeling left and up Crescent Road. This bit is very technical and if wet, newly laid tarmac and drain covers could make for some very interesting riding.

The incline up Parliament Street to the finish could also be a location to see riders empty the tank as they crest the hill near Betty’s Tea Room, particularly the para-cycling events which don't use the entire circuit.

Men’s U23 and Women’s Elite Individual Time Trials

Men’s U23 ITT: Ripon to Harrogate, Tuesday 24th September, 10:10–12:30  
Women’s Elite ITT: Ripon to Harrogate, Tuesday 24th September, 14:40–16:50

Bedlam. This is a town in North Yorkshire, not a scene of uproar and confusion. It is also going to be one of the most testing climbs of these TTs and where I would position myself.

After almost 12km of undulating A road the riders will turn right before they get to Ripley Castle to take on Bedlam, Birstwith and Hampsthwaite - all short sharp climbs.

Whipley Bank would be a great place to see the riders suffer, a 2.1km climb at an average of 4.8%. If you don’t fancy there then Elton Lane from Birstwith to Clapham Green has a gradient of up to 14% but being just over 500 metres long it’s going to sting. Following this, the riders then hit a 2.5km climb out of Hampsthwaite.

Ripon, the start point for both time-trials, is organising three days of free entertainment: fairground rides, climbing wall, street performers, donkey rides, children’s entertainers, face-painting, a roving jazz triplet, cycling exhibition, steam engine display, classic car display and Morris dancing. Yes, Morris Dancing.

 

Men’s Elite Individual Time Trial

Northallerton to Harrogate, Wednesday 25th September, 13:10–15:50

This is a brutal time-trial. As soon as the riders are through Bedale, they’re going to be either going up or down - rarely flat. While you could go to Masham and The Black Sheep Brewery today, I’d save it for another day and instead head to Ripley.

You’re not far from the finish here and the riders will really be trying to make up any lost time and going full gas. In between riders going past you can grab yourself a world famous Ripley ice cream. Personal favourite is mint choc chip.

After the last rider has gone past you can cycle down the Nidderdale greenway in to Harrogate to catch the riders cooling down at the finish.

 

Men’s Junior Road Race

Richmond to Harrogate, Thursday 26th September, 12:10–16:00

Not starting in Richmond West London, but Richmond North Yorkshire the first 37km is pretty sedate, the climb of Kidstones should sort out the breakaway. The second climb being Summerscales climb might be where the break is reeled in.

Get yourself on either of the climbs to enjoy the riders coming past – the drag through Blubberhouses will be one for the photographers, as the peloton rolls through the exposed moorland.

 

Women’s Junior Road Race and Men’s U23 Road Race

Women’s Junior Road Race: Doncaster to Harrogate, Friday 27th September, 08:40–11:30  
Men’s U23 Road Race: Doncaster to Harrogate (three laps), Friday 27th September, 14:10–19:25

Both races start in Doncaster but with the women turning left and going through Wetherby the men turn right and hit Harrogate after passing through Boroughbridge and climbing Greenhow.

If you’re not watching the men suffer going up Greenhow (as the rest of their course is pretty flat) then watch the women go through the market town of Wetherby. There will be a fairground, artisan market, shop window dressing competition and a big screen.

Active Leeds will be hosting games of Boccia (a game similar to bocce, played by competitors who have a physical disability that requires the use of a wheelchair) and wheelchair tennis. Get fish and chips after from the Wetherby Whaler. 

Women’s Elite Road Race

Bradford to Harrogate (three laps), Saturday 28th September, 11:40–16:00

Rolling out of Bradford there’s a few places to watch this one. Norwood Edge is a tough 2km hill climb from north of Otley towards Pateley Bridge. It is hardest at the bottom, with a max gradient of 16%, it then ascends at a more gradual gradient around a couple of hairpins before cresting at the top of the moors.

Or the photographer might like to see the peloton going past Fountains Abbey, with the right weather this would be stunning.

Personally, I’d ride out to Lofthouse and watch the race going up there, before following the peloton as far as Masham where the gravitational pull of the Black Sheep Brewery is so strong, it’s changed the course of planets.

If you flash your bike helmet you get 10% off food and if you’ve got it left in your legs you could win your height in beer, in their 30 second distance challenge.

 

Men’s Elite Road Race

Leeds to Harrogate (seven laps), Sunday 29th September, 08:40–15:50

The parcours goes up and down more than an electrocardiogram. Three significant climbs come one after another and could fragment the peloton. A battle to regain contact should then develop on the fast approach to Harrogate.

I’d return to where it was confirmed that Yorkshire had a huge love affair with cycling: Buttertubs. As many as 21,000 people turned out on this climb when the Tour de France came through back in 2014.

 

If you’re not watching here then set your stall out early on the finishing loop of Harrogate. This is going to be one hell of a finish up Parliament Street.

After all the riders have crossed the line make your way to the Coach and Horses. This wonderful pub has plenty of cycling in its DNA, the walls have signed Mark Cavendish jerseys and the pub even changed its name to Cavendish and Horses back in 2014.

Yorkshire 2019 smartphone app: A useful companion

The official Yorkshire 2019 smartphone app will provide live updates right the way through the World Championships. This will be a useful resource for fans and local residents alike.