Harrogate Borough Council has confirmed that it is looking to be a host town as part of Yorkshire’s bid for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships. The town previously hosted the stage finish on stage one of the 2014 Tour de France.
The government has said it would underwrite the eight-day World Championships, backing it with £24m of investment.
Full details of proposed routes will be made public if the UCI awards the event to Yorkshire during October’s World Cycling Congress in Doha, Qatar – which coincides with this year’s event.
Welcome to Yorkshire has said that if successful, the World Championships would feature starts in North, South and West Yorkshire, as well as the East Riding, so the extent of Harrogate’s involvement is not yet known.
The leader of Harrogate Borough Council, Richard Cooper told the Harrogate Advertiser that participation would provide ongoing economic benefits.
"We demonstrated in our hosting of the 2014 Tour de France that we have the capacity and ambition to deliver events on this scale.
“The Road World Championships is, after the Tour de France, one of the largest annual events in road cycling.
"It could bring a boost to the district economy comparable with the £19 million secured from the Tour de France and provide an on-going benefit to the visitor economy through bringing Harrogate to a global audience."
Harrogate's participation is still subject to formal agreement by council members but Cooper said there was cross-party support.
Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity said: “We are very grateful to our friends at Harrogate Borough Council for supporting us in our bid to bring the 2019 UCI Road World Championships to Yorkshire. Harrogate excelled in every way when the Tour de France Grand Départ came to the county in 2014 and we have no doubt about the credentials Harrogate possesses.”
In August, Yorkshire announced a late bid to secure another cycling event for the region. The European Road Cycling Championships were at the time without a host venue following a late withdrawal by the French city of Nice in the wake of July's lorry attack.
The application of the Morbihan department in Brittany was ultimately successful and the event starts today in Plumelec.