Every September the eyes of cycling fans around the globe turn to the UCI Road World Championships. For 2019 the week-long competition will be held in Yorkshire, England September 22-29 and Team KATUSHA ALPECIN has riders representing their home countries in each of the disciplines: Nils Politt (Germany) and Harry Tanfield (Great Britain) will ride the newly formatted Team Time Trial; Politt and Alex Dowsett (Great Britain) will ride the Time Trial; and Ruben Guerreiro (Portugal), Politt, Haas, Dmitry Strakhov (Russia) and Marco Haller (Austria) will all ride the Road race.
First race is Sunday, September 22, with the Team Time Trial Mixed Relay. When the TTT returned to the worlds 7 years ago, it looked like a fully integrated part of the championships, only to be met with less than enthusiastic on-going reactions from fans and teams. Rather than discard the TTT entirely, a revamped mixed relay will become part of the race, with men racing with men, then tagging in the 3 women representing the same nation for the second lap. Each lap on the Harrogate circuit is 14k long and the men, and then women, will each complete one lap with the best timed combined team effort winning the gold medal.
Nils Politt will represent Germany in the TTT: “To be selected for the Worlds is always nice. I really am happy with this. My goals for sure are all 3 competitions: TTT, TT and Road. We have a very strong team for the TTT with Tony Martin, Jasha Sutterlin and 3 good females. The goal is a gold medal.”
Wednesday, September 25 will bring the Men’s Elite Time Trial, a 54k course starting in Northallerton and ending in Harrogate. The course includes a climb in Masham, and is well-known for the constant up-and-down terrain.
Politt: “The TT is very long. It’s the first time for me to do such a long one at 54 kilometers. If I can go top 15, that will be a nice result – we’ll see.”
The men’s Elite Road race takes place as the final event of the championships and will be held on Sunday, September 29. The course begins in Leeds and completes 187k of a loop before hitting the Harrogate circuit for 7 laps. In all, it will be 284 kilometers for the men’s race.
Nathan Haas, Australia:“Yorkshire 2019 could go down as possibly the hardest of all time. Almost 300 k on some of the smallest and grippiest roads there are in the world, with also a high probability of poor weather. This will be one of the most epic races of all time. Racing for Australia, I think we’re going there with a super well-prepared team. Cycling Australia announced our team almost 2 months ago so it’s given all of the riders a really big opportunity to come in super ready. And if you look at the guys, we’ve all been hitting some great form in this last month building up to the world championships. My personal goal is to represent myself and the team the absolute best that I can. The result is going to be that of helping someone and my personal view and vision is to be as helpful as I can deep into the final of the race. And to see the continent of Australian earn it’s second rainbow jersey (Cadel Evans, 2009). It would be a beautiful experience to be part of and is what has been motivating me for this last part of the season.”
Politt added: “On the road race, for sure 280k is also long so we will see what I can do there. I don’t know the exact plan for my national team but we will try for something. If I am there in the first group, it will be nice.”
With races happening every day, whether it’s a men’s race, a women’s race, or one for U23’s or Juniors, there is plenty going on in Yorkshire, including all the activities organized by KATUSHA Sport! The Pop Up store, including the Performance and Commuter collections, opens on Saturday, September 21, with a party, of course! ATOM beers and Yorshire bites will be on hand and familiar faces from the world of road cycling will be milling about to kick off the 2019 Worlds.
Want to do a little riding of your own? Why not meet up with Harry Tanfield on Monday, September 23 for a 90-minutes ride? Meet at the Pop Up at 10:15 for a coffee, then Ride With Harry on a 10:30 roll out. Later back at the shop, the Juniors’ TT’s will be screening for your racing enjoyment. Later that evening author and journalist Chris Sidwells will provide an intimate talk on Tom Simpson, one of Britain’s most successful professional cyclists.
Midweek, Wednesday September 25, Cyclist Magazine will host live from the KATUSHA Pop Up, followed on Thursday by “Little Bleeders with Alex Dowsett”. The Dowsett charity helps young people with haemophilia learn to live and thrive through sport. A limited-edition jersey by KATUSHA will be sold with profits going to the charity Alex founded.
There is still more! On Saturday head into the Pop Up with your yoga mat, grab a quick coffee and then walk to the nearby park for a morning stretch. Following all of those moments of zen, coverage of the Women’s Road race will be shown in the shop. Later that night, local distillery York Gin will come into the Pop Up for a “History in the Tasting” for their range of gins.
And finally, on Sunday September 29 as the Worlds winds down, it’s the Men’s Elite Road Race. With the Pop Up located five minutes from the finish line, it’s the perfect place to join in the excitement of road racing while enjoying Atom Beers, York Gin and local bites. Friends and fans are all invited to share the World’s experience at the KATUSHA Pop Up: 36 Parliament Street, Harrogate, HG1 2, United Kingdom
Photos c. Getty Images and James Startt