Welcome to Yorkshire boss Sir Gary Verity has welcomed the government’s backing of a British bid to host the UCI Road World Championships and has said Yorkshire “has an incredibly strong case” for hosting the event.
Verity spearheaded the bid to host the Tour de France Grand Départ in Yorkshire in 2014, and has since played a major role in the creation of the ASO race, the Tour de Yorkshire, which debuted this year.
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The last time the Worlds appeared on British shores was in 1982, when it took place in Goodwood, West Sussex. And with the 2016 and ’17 editions set to be held in Qatar and Norway respectively, and with Austria likely hosts of the 2018 races, it will be at least 2019 before the event could come to Yorkshire.
“We welcome today’s [Wednesday] Government spending review which follows the Chancellor’s statement of support in February 2015 for a Yorkshire bid for the UCI Road World Championships,” Verity said in a statement.
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“We have a long and distinguished history in cycling, and through hosting world class events have placed ourselves firmly on the path to being the European capital of cycling.
“The phenomenal and widely documented success of the Tour de France Grand Départ and the new Tour de Yorkshire have demonstrated an appetite for cycling not only from our local authorities, but residents, media, schools, visitors and of course from the riders who have experienced racing on our roads.
“Nowhere else in the UK do these things combine and together they make an incredibly strong case for the World Championships to be held in Yorkshire.”
British Cycling also announced that it welcomed the Chancellor George Osborne’s support of a UK held Worlds, in a statement which also saw UK Anti-Doping receive a funding increase and a commitment to £300 million of cycling infrastructure development in the UK. But Chief Executive Ian Drake reaffirmed the need to inspire further mass participation.
“We also welcome the Government’s desire to support a bid for the UCI Road World Championships,” Drake said.
“Following our letter of 15 June to the Prime Minister on the subject, government knows that the highest priority in our major events strategy is ensuring a participation legacy for the sport.
“That is to say – those inspired by cycling’s great events need somewhere safe to try cycle sport.”