British Cycling and Sport England are today launching Own the Ride, a new campaign which will celebrate the 2019 UCI Road World Championships, as well as inspire more people from all walks of life to ride their bike.
Created for the championships – which take place in Yorkshire from 22 – 29 September; the first time the competition will have been held on British soil in 37 years – the countrywide drive was unveiled today in South Yorkshire, with the showcasing of the first major legacy investment into cycling facilities – Doncaster Cycle Track – to mark the 50-day countdown to the championships.
Doncaster Cycle Track is a 1km-long, 6m-wide traffic-free circuit for cyclists of all ages and abilities expected to attract over 40,000 visitors in its first year alone. Featuring the world’s only man-made cobbled climb, the cycle track will be completed ahead of the junior women’s road race and men’s under-23 road race which start at the facility on 27 September.
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The ribbon was cut by Mayor of Doncaster Ros Jones, along with British Cycling’s President Bob Howden, the new Minister for Sport Nigel Adams MP and Yorkshire 2019 CEO Andy Hindley. Joining the dignitaries were three-time Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy and fellow professional cyclist Graham Briggs.
The Barnsley-born Olympian said: “Facilities like this one in Doncaster are absolutely critical in ensuring that people from communities of all ages and abilities can embrace cycling in a fun and safe environment.
“The Places to Ride funding programme will ensure that the road world championships leave a genuine legacy, not just in Yorkshire but across the whole country. So, whether you’re in the park with your children, doing the commute to work or making use of a local facility, we want people to feel inspired by this once in a generation opportunity and Own the Ride this summer.”
Schoolchildren and members of the local community then became the first to cycle the track which will be used by local cycling groups ahead of the Championships.
This dedicated community facility has been made possible with funding from Doncaster Council and a portion of the £15 million Places to Ride programme, delivered in partnership with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Sport England and British Cycling. The programme supports the development of new (and improvements to) cycling facilities in England.
This commitment from the UK Government formed part of the successful bid to bring the road world championships to Yorkshire and will be delivered over the next three years, ensuring the event delivers a legacy that will help transform cycling infrastructure in the country.
Own the Ride is supported by free resources that are available now to empower organisations – from schools, local authorities or cycling clubs – to engage people with the UCI Road World Championships and encourage them to create their own opportunities to be active through cycling.
The campaign encompasses initiatives which will reach out to people of all ages and abilities, including a partnership with Motitech – motivating older people and those with dementia to engage in more physical activity through the Road Worlds for Seniors and an Own the Ride racing weekender – where HSBC UK Go-Ride clubs across the country will open their doors to help get as many children on bikes as possible.
Chief executive of British Cycling, Julie Harrington, said: “We’ve worked hard alongside Sport England to guarantee that anyone, anywhere can Own the Ride and feel a real affinity with cycling before, during and after the road world championships.
“Whether they’re a fan cheering on the world’s elite on the roadside, watching at home, a local authority, or indeed, a rider from the Great Britain Cycling Team, we are looking for people to Own the Ride and embrace cycling in any way they choose.”