UCI will shorten under-23 road race at Yorkshire 2019 World Championships for rider safety

The organisers have modified the route and changed the timing

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The UCI have opted to shorten the under-23 road race at the World Championships to ensure rider safety in poor light.

Taking place on Friday (September 27), the U23 event was originally expected to finish just after 7pm, but the race organisers have decided to cut a lap out of the course and start the event earlier, to keep the competitors safe and to help broadcast pictures as the sun sets.

Weather at the Yorkshire 2019 Worlds has had a major impact on the racing, with riders crashing in heavy rain during the U23 time trial, as the women’s TT was delayed so flooded streets could be cleared.

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A statement from the UCI said: “Due to anticipated poor light conditions as a result of the inclement weather forecast, the UCI in consultation with Yorkshire 2019 organising committee of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships has decided to modify the under-23 road race distance and start time.”

The U23 peloton were due to tackle three laps of the tough Harrogate finishing circuit to conclude the 186.9km race, which starts in Doncaster.

But the organisers have now cut out one lap of the finishing circuit and have moved the start time to 10 minutes earlier.

The UCI added: “This action has been guided by the concern to ensure the security of the athletes while preserving the sporting interest of the event.

“In addition to riders’ safety, the decision has been taken in order to ensure the light conditions will be sufficient for the host broadcaster to deliver a high-quality product using the full range of the planned production facilities, such as the camera helicopter, until the end of the race.”

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The statement concluded: “The UCI and Yorkshire 2019 will continue to assess closely the weather forecast and race conditions and take any appropriate decisions.”

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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 CyclingWeekly.com. 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.