Road World Championship, Yorkshire

Words by Cycles UK

on 03/10/2019 16:34:31

mens elite

Our Marketing manager Peter is from Yorkshire. So he left the very flat (and at that point) dry Essex behind and went home to catch some of the Road World Championship.

His instant summary was "it was wet!” I saw that tweeted video of the Danish under 23 aquaplaning through what appears to be a small stream.

its raining

It got me thinking about how difficult the peloton must be in these conditions. Giving it your all when it's pouring with rain takes a lot of skill. Then surround yourself with a peloton that's full of hungry young athletes, all riding to win on narrow, puddle filled roads. It's no surprise there were crashes during the under 23 males, females and men's junior rides. The women's junior peloton crashed just outside Betty's Tea rooms, a matter of 300 meters from the finish line. Riders ran broken and siezed up bikes just to cross the finish line.

womens juniors

There was controversy in the Men's Under 23 race, as Dutch rider Nils Eekhoff won the race but was disqualified 15 minutes later for drafting behind team cars. The outcome of which pushed Yorkshires Tom Piddock from 4th to 3rd position, taking the Bronze.

 100m mark (1)

The Men's Elite individual time trial was a remarkable event. Both Irelands Eddy Dunbar and British (and Essex Local) Alex Dowsett set strong times. However, it was Australian Rohan Dennis who, despite dropping out of the Tour de France at the very last minute and not riding competitively since. Regardless he powered to a win, controversially not on his team bike or in his team kit. So it was no surprise when announced he is no longer part of The Bahrain Merida Team.

The Elite women's race was just as exciting. Lizzie Deignan was completing a local ride one she has no doubt completed many times. So local in fact that Deignan rode past her Mum’s front door while her Nan was outside her own house to wish her granddaughter luck. The peloton held back as they rode through Otley allowing Lizzie and her fellow Yorkshire teammate Lizzy Banks to ride at the front. The star of the race has got to be Dutch Annemiek van Vleuten. Vleuten went from finishing 3rd in the Women's Elite time trials earlier that week, to a stonking victory. She won with a 104km solo ride out front, in such extreme weather is a hugely impressive win.

van vleuten

Sunday was the day of the Men’s Elite Race. Pete explained "it was pouring with rain, the pub was rammed, everywhere was rammed! They opened the town hall, the WI or something similar sold cake and hot drinks while they showed the race on a big screen. Most people had ridden to Harrogate, got soaked, sat inside to watch the race because it was just so wet. It didn't stop raining, so they rode home in it too."

So you can imagine what it was like for the elites men's group to ride, hence why the ride was then cut short by around 20 km. Phillip Gilbert, a race favourite suffered a heavy crash on one of the first circuits, and he eventually ended up abandoning. There were more abandons, including Alejandro Valverde and Geraint Thomas. It was a race full of twists and turns, a peloton wary of breakaways but unable to retaliate to anything other than the first few attempts. No one pre-empted the eventual podium winner being Danish Mads Pedersen.

Mads Pedersen