Richard Spencer, Visit Harrogate
Richard Spencer, CEO of Visit Harrogate

Harrogate at the centre of global cycle racing calendar

10 October 2018

The UCI Road Racing Championship is coming to to Yorkshire in September 2019. The race between 21 and 29 September will see Harrogate as the hub for all the race finishes, with many races completing laps of a Harrogate town circuit.

Tourism agency, Visit Harrogate, is urging the district’s tourism sector to embrace the event as it promises more than just a ‘short term injection’ into the local economy.

Richard Spencer, CEO of Visit Harrogate, said:

2019 offers a chance for the Harrogate District’s food and drink, retail and accommodation sectors, alongside our major attractions, to fling their doors open to the world and its media.

2018’s Championships were hosted in Innsbruck, following the 2017 event which took place in Bergen.

The recent report into the economic impact on Bergen shows visitors to Bergen spent €21m during the 2017 Championships. Visiting media and teams spent almost €4m in Bergen over the course of the Championships and those Championships provided a €25m boost to the economy of Bergen.



Teams, support staff and media stayed on average for more than a week, while spectators from abroad enjoyed average extended stays of more than four days. Even those coming from other parts of Norway made the most of the opportunity to see world class cycling on home soil and stayed more than three nights on average. Furthermore, international visitors to the Championships spent in access of €130 per day and 80% of them visited a local non-cycling tourist attraction during their stay.

The Bergen Report says the event provided a firm foundation for encouraging future visitors to Bergen, as 80% of international visitors suggested they were likely to return, while 95% were likely to recommend Bergen to others.

Richard added:

As an organisation and town, we are gearing up to give a very warm welcome to the world, as we unfurl banners across the district saying just that: ‘Harrogate Welcomes the World’. The Championships provided Bergen with substantial global exposure, with broadcast reaching 129 countries and a cumulative audience of 225 million. That’s a significant worldwide audience that can only enrich our tourism and footfall.


North Yorkshire County Council has also welcomed the announcement of the routes.

County Council Leader Cllr Carl Les said:

We’re proud that North Yorkshire will host what can justifiably be described as the World Cup of cycling. It’s a massive global sporting event and will again focus the eyes of the world on North Yorkshire, allowing everyone a wonderful opportunity to showcase our vibrant county to the world. I have no doubt the county will rise to the occasion and the residents across North Yorkshire will embrace the spectacle and the opportunities the event offers.

Hosting the championships will build on the reputation Yorkshire has as a great destination for cycling, beginning with the Tour de Yorkshire Grand Départ in 2014 and growing with its legacy, the annual Tour de Yorkshire. The spectators, who will come from around the world, and the global media coverage, including live broadcasts on BBC TV, will bring significant economic benefits.



As an indication of the benefits cycling events can bring, this year’s Tour de Yorkshire boosted the Yorkshire economy by £98m. A record 2.6 million spectators lined the route over the four days of racing between 3 and 6 May and overall spending was up 54 per cent.


County Council Chief Executive Richard Flinton, who is on the board of event organiser Yorkshire 2019, said:

The County Council now has five years’ experience of staging major cycling events, since the Grand Départ in 2014. We have developed a strong understanding of how to manage traffic and road closures to provide a smooth experience for visitors, local spectators and people needing to go about their normal lives.

As a major partner, we will use this expertise alongside Yorkshire 2019 and other partners to ensure that those who visit for the races can do so safely and efficiently and that disruption is minimised for those who live and work near the routes. We will work with residents and businesses over the coming 12 months to ensure the maximum benefit and minimum impact on day-to-day life in Harrogate and other race locations.


Where possible, rolling road closures will operate, though longer closures will be needed in parts of Harrogate at certain times and at other locations during time trial events.

Full details of the routes can be found here:

Routes announced for UCI Road World Championships in Harrogate 2019




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