The 2019 UCI Road World Championships reached a gripping conclusion on Sunday with Mads Pedersen earning a surprise yet exceptionally hard-fought victory in the Elite Men’s Road Race to round off an unforgettable nine days of action.
The Danish rider worked his way into an elite group in the last 48km and was one of only three riders still in contention on the very last drag up Parliament Street. It was his rival Matteo Trentin who kicked off the sprint for victory but
The result brought an end to an incredible 92nd edition of the Championships which has truly cemented Yorkshire’s place on the world cycling map. Not even the weather couldn’t dampen the county’s spirits on Sunday, with heavy overnight rains causing the race to be re-routed and take on two extra laps of the Harrogate circuit.
Many of the pre-race favourites eventually floundered in the tricky conditions, and Yorkshireman Ben Swift was among the big names who were distanced as the pace began to really ramp up in the closing stages. Pedersen stayed strong however and it is he who now has the honour of wearing the iconic rainbow jersey for the next 12 months of competition.
Never before has a UCI Road World Championships encompassed 10 different start locations, seen male and female riders compete alongside each other (like they did in the first-ever Team Time Trial Mixed Relay), or organise a ground-breaking para-cycling event (the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International) alongside it. More rainbow jerseys were also awarded than ever before and £15 million of Government funding already allocated to develop entry-level cycling facilities across England will ensure it leaves a long, lasting legacy as well.
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