Top under-23 riders react to ‘crazy’ weather conditions at Yorkshire 2019 World Championships

The podium finishers give their thoughts after a tense race

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The top riders in the under-23 time trial have given their thoughts on the ‘crazy’ conditions that blighted the race at the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships.

Heavy downpours, strong enough for a yellow weather warning to be put in place by the Met Office, caused flooding on the course with a number of riders going down as a result.

The torrential rain took out a number of contenders, as Denmark’s Mikkel Bjerg rode to his third consecutive U23 world title in the discipline.

>>> Women’s elite TT at Yorkshire World Championships pushed back due to weather conditions 

Bjerg, 20, said after his win: “The first guys weren’t told about the water. That must have been crazy, because they didn't really know what to expect.

"I was told by my coach on that there was like big water puddles that and that I should not go in there and maybe not take the fastest, the shortest lines in the corners. So just didn't hit the water, and the places where you had to go through the water he just said hold really tight to pass and just go full gas.”

The first rider to fall victim to the treacherous conditions at the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships was Hungary’s Attila Valter, who fell and slid a long way down the road.

Dane Mathias Norsagaard Jørgensen then went down as he rode through a flooded section of road, while Norway’s Iver Knotten had a sketchy moment after his chain came off and was able to reach down and place it back in line.

Second place finisher Ian Garrison (USA), who came in 27 seconds down on Bjerg after the 30.3km course from Ripon to Harrogate, said: “It was a different time trial than I've ever ridden before. I was trying not to let the conditions affect me too much.

“I think the conditions obviously made it more dangerous. But besides the few downhills, it's hard to say. It's as dangerous as you want to make it.”

>>> Belgian riders slam decision to race U23 time trial in ‘dangerous’ conditions at Yorkshire World Championships 

The final podium spot went to USA rider Brandon McNulty, who was just one second behind his compatriot Garrison.

McNulty, 21, said: “They're pretty bad conditions. The first puddle took me by surprise, it was like riding through a sandpit so I definitely had to watch out for those.”

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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.