Yorkshire’s announcement that it will bid to host the 2019 Road World Championships was celebrated among the British cycling fraternity.
In what was an expected move after over a year of planning, the press release outlining the bid was big on ambition but fine on exact details.
Cycling Weekly has sought answers to eight key questions and here they are.
When will they find out?
The UCI’s annual congress will meet in Doha this October during the 2016 Road World Championships. There, the board of directors including president Brian Cookson, will decide the host of the 2019 race.
An announcement, however, may not be revealed straight away. Bergen, the host of the 2017, event found out during the 2014 Worlds in Ponferrada, but 2018 hosts Innsbruck didn’t find out about their successful bid until this February.
What would be the road race route?
This is still a matter of discussion. Welcome to Yorkshire have included their own proposals in their bid to the UCI, but even if they are successful and are awarded the Worlds, the UCI could disapprove of their ideal route and seek an alternative.
The 2014 Tour de France stage two from York to Sheffield and this year’s stage three of the Tour de Yorkshire from Middlesbrough to Scarborough were both commended by riders and cycling commentators, with many suggesting that both routes were Classic-esque. An adaption of both routes would cover two areas of the county, fulfilling the bid’s aims to take in all areas of the county.
Would events take place outside of Yorkshire?
It was understood that neighbouring Greater Manchester would have hosted the time trials, but Welcome to Yorkshire confirmed to Cycling Weekly that this is not the case and all events would be “wholly in Yorkshire”.
Would it affect 2019 Tour de Yorkshire?
No. The region’s tour, ran each spring, will be celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2019 and hosting the Worlds would not affect its annual race. It would still run as normal.
Where are the other bids from?
No other possible hosts have declared their intention yet, at least not publicly. Belgium did declare way back in 2011 that it was aiming to host the Worlds before 2019 in a country-wide venue covering all nine regions, but whether or not that proposal remains is not known. It is likely that the names of other bids will be reported in the coming weeks.
What will the exact cost of hosting the event actually be?
The £24m figure mentioned in the bid’s announcement included £15m towards cycling infrastructure. The cost of staging the Championships would be £9m, which the Government has agreed to fund. Costs above this amount would be covered by Welcome to Yorkshire.
Catch up once again on the highlights of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire stage three
So that leaves £15m to spend on cycling facilities in Yorkshire?
Not quite. £15m, up from the £10m thought to originally have been proposed by the Government, will fund cycling projects across England and not just Yorkshire.
It is thought that the money will be ring fenced for cycling talent infrastructure, rather than being spent on cycle paths, for instance.
£15m isn’t actually a huge amount of money. The money is expected to be spent on the the development of closed road facilities, which cost up and around £1m.
Hopes that England could get its fifth velodrome are quashed, however, as the latest (and smallest) indoor velodrome in Derby cost £28m – almost double what the Government has promised to spend. Inverness’ proposed velodrome is likely to cost at least £23m.
Why have the Government agreed to fund the event?
Sport, you see, is big business in politics. The bid forms part of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse project and its timing is also not coincidental: 2019 is the year before the 2020 General Election (assuming a snap election is not called in the coming months) and the Worlds would be nine months until polling day.
And why Yorkshire? Besides the laudable work of Welcome to Yorkshire and Sir Gary Verity that hasn’t gone unnoticed in Westminster, the county has a number of constituencies in rural Yorkshire that returns a Conservative MP.