Track Cycling

British Cycling look to cash in on World Championships success –

The UCI Road World Championships can act as a catalyst for cycling in the UK ©Getty Images

British Cycling has outlined projects aimed at building on their hosting of the International Cycling Union (UCI) Road World Championships in Yorkshire.

The World Championships concluded on Sunday (September 29) after nine days of action, including time trial and road races.

Around 1,400 riders participated with 90 countries represented.

Organisers claim the Championships was seen by a global television audience of over 250 million, along with the thousands of spectators at the courses.

British Cycling say the event was paired with the largest ever funding injection to make it easier for people to ride their bikes in local communities.

The British Government committed to investing £15 million ($18.3 million/€16.8 million) in funding for new and improved cycling facilities across England.

The investment into facilities has been aimed at increasing participation, with British Cycling claiming their “Places to Ride” programme has already seen results.

It funds a range of community facilities, including large-scale multi-use venues through to cycle trails in parks, BMX tracks and learn-to-ride areas.

British Cycling partnered with Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) on the two-year project.

The national governing body say smaller requests are also welcomed, helping provide organisations with access to bikes and equipment.

“Hosting a home Road World Championships is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and we must make every effort to capitalise on the buzz of enthusiasm felt, not only in Yorkshire, but across the whole country,” said Julie Harrington, British Cycling chief executive.

“Ever since we won the bid to host the Championships back in 2016, we’’ve been building robust plans to ensure it has a ripple effect which will enable thousands more people to embrace cycling in whichever way they choose.

“Using major events to inspire greater participation has been the foundation of the success enjoyed by British Cycling over the last decade, with our membership growing tenfold in that period.

“We’re confident that with our HSBC UK Go Ride and HSBC UK Ready Set Ride programmes designed to help teach and develop children’s cycling skills, our unique partnership with Playing Out, alongside the new Places to Ride facilities programme, we can engage a new audience with cycling and ensure our vision becomes a reality.”

The Doncaster Cycle Track was among the first facilities to open as a result of the programme.

The track is a one-kilometre long and six-metre-wide traffic free circuit, which includes a cobbled climb.

It hosted the start of both the junior women’s and men’s under-23 road races at the World Championships.

British Cycling claim the facility is now expected to provide 40,000 opportunities for riders of all ages and abilities during its first year.

Virtual cycling technology has also been introduced into 60 care homes in England.

The programme partnered with Norwegian start-up company Motitech to install the technology.

The aim is to help older people, particularly those with dementia, to enjoy benefits for physical activity.

Yorkshire 2019 chief executive Andy Hindley praised the initiative and encouraged people to try cycling following the conclusion of the World Championships.

“We were treated to some incredible racing during the Championships and hopefully that will have inspired people of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes,” he said.

“With this fantastic Places to Ride funding in place, and all the great work British Cycling are doing, we’re already seeing new and improved cycling facilities popping up all over the country and there has never been a better time to give cycling a go.”