Sir Gary Verity, the leader of the successful Yorkshire Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014, has confirmed that Yorkshire hopes to host the UCI Road World Championships as it continues to promote cycling in the county.
On Wednesday the British government repeated a promise of backing a bid to host the worlds in Britain’s so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ a term coined to described the north of England. The idea was first revealed in February and Yorkshire began talks with British Cycling on the project. British Cycling would verify any bids and would eventually decide which area of northern Britain is put forward to make an eventual bid to the UCI. Government funding would help that bid.
The 2016 and 2017 World Championships will be held in Qatar and Norway, with Innsbruck, Austria expected to host the 2018 event. Other nations are also keen to bid to host the worlds in years to come. However, Verity has moved quickly to promote Yorkshire's chances.
“We welcome today’s Government spending review which follows the Chancellor’s statement of support in February 2015 for a Yorkshire bid for the UCI Road World Championships,” Verity said in a statement sent to Cyclingnews.
“We have a long and distinguished history in cycling, and through hosting world class events have placed ourselves firmly on the path to being the European capital of cycling.
“The past two years alone have reminded the world how Yorkshire has cycling at its heart, not just as a sport but both as a form of recreation and transport. The phenomenal and widely documented success of the Tour de France Grand Départ and the new Tour de Yorkshire have demonstrated an appetite for cycling not only from our local authorities, but residents, media, schools, visitors and of course from the riders who have experienced racing on our roads. Nowhere else in the UK do these things combine and together they make an incredibly strong case for the World Championships to be held in Yorkshire.
“We look forward to further discussions with both the Government and British Cycling.”
If a British bid was successful, it would be the first time the road race World Championships are held in Britain since Goodwood in 1982. Great Britain has only hosted the World Championships on one other occasion - back on the second running of the event in 1922, when it was held in Liverpool.