As a resident of Yorkshire for the last 28 years it is incredibly exciting to have this year’s biggest one-day races play out on its roads. For two years I lived in Harrogate while riding and racing as a Junior and made the most of the exceptional riding both on and off road, right on the doorstep. The 2019 World Champs road race and time trial courses all finish in Harrogate but start in different Yorkshire locations bringing the racing to the whole region and different styles of racing to each race. Let’s check out the routes for the main races.
Men’s Elite ITT
Starting in Northallerton the route heads South-West into what could be straight into the prevailing wind for September before turning South-South-East on smaller, twisty, lumpy roads down towards Harrogate.
Women’s Elite ITT
Like the men, the Women’s Elite ITT starts from the North but from the Cathedral town of Ripon. In order to get the necessary distance into the course the route heads out West at Ripley and takes in a few sharp climbs before heading back into the finish in Harrogate. The U23 men also complete this course for their ITT.
Men’s Elite Road Race
Following a very similar course to stage 1 of the 2014 Tour de France, the route sets out from Leeds and heads up to tick off three classic climbs in the Yorkshire Dales: Kidstones Pass, Buttertubs and Grinton Moor (new bridge now open after being washed away in the recent heavy rains). All these climbs are finished before the midway point of the race and are unlikely to put any of the overall contenders in any trouble. A fairly painless trip back form the Dales back into Harrogate could see some crosswinds but the action is sure to be saved for the final circuit (details below) which is to be completed 7 times with 245m of climbing per lap.
Women’s Elite Road Race
The women’s race is possibly set to play out very differently to the men’s race with climbing right from km zero. 14km in and they hit Norwood Edge with its 20% slopes, a classic hill climb venue for local clubs. At 44.5km into the race they will hit Trapping Hill which is far harder a climb than anything from the men’s course. Expect a fairly small group of the strongest riders to be away for the rest of the race from here. 3 laps of the Harrogate circuit complete what is sure to be a brutal race.
The Harrogate circuit features in most of the events with the Mixed Team Time Trial completing 2 laps. It is a very challenging circuit with a tricky, steep section down to and over a bridge and plenty tough, short climbs.