Huge increase in TV viewers for Yorkshire 2019 World Championships

More than 300million people watched the racing around the world

Annemiek van Vleuten wins the Yorkshire World Championships women's road race (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The number of cycling fans who tuned in to the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships surged from previous editions, with more than 300million people watching worldwide.

Last years Worlds, the first held on British soil since Goodwood in 1982, offered some thrilling moments including dramatic weather in under-23 time trial, Annemiek van Vleuten’s 105km solo victory, and a surprise winner in the men’s elite road race.

The 2019 event, centred around Harrogate in Yorkshire, were watched by 329million people from 124 countries – a 31 per cent increase on the previous year’s Worlds in Innsbruck, when 250million switched on the racing.

Figured were released by tourism board Welcome to Yorkshire, which also runs the Tour de Yorkshire, and Yorkshire 2019.

The chair of Yorkshire 2019, Chris Pilling, said: “These are fantastic figures which far exceed our initial broadcast expectations. We pledged we would showcase Yorkshire to 250million people across the globe, so to reach 329million in 124 countries is very satisfying. We delivered an inclusive, innovative and inspiring championships, which I have no doubt will attract new visitors to our beautiful country for many years to come.”

The event, held from Saturday, September 21 through to Sunday, September 29, featured a one-day para-cycling event, the first World Championship mixed relay team time trial, and the usual ITTs and road races to decide the new world champions.

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In Europe, 6,500 hours of coverage was aired in 40s countries, while globally the number of broadcast hours increased 38 per cent to 7,089.

The commercial director of Welcome to Yorkshire, Peter Dodd, said: “These figures are really impressive and it’s fair to say the eyes of the world were on Yorkshire during those nine days of action. The footage showcased some of the very best scenery we have to offer and we’re sure it will have inspired many people across the globe – cyclists and non-cyclists alike – to come and sample our great county for themselves.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.