The legendary runner who founded the Great North Run is backing Yorkshire’s bid to host the UCI Road World Championships in 2019.
Brendan Foster CBE, who won bronze in the 10,000 metres at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, has added his support to the high-profile bid that recently won Government backing.
A joint bid by Welcome to Yorkshire, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, UK Sport and British Cycling was submitted to cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, last month.
The cost of the bid to host the championships is being underwritten by the Government and backed with £24 million of investment.
Foster said: “I wholeheartedly back their bid. The Tour de France and Tours de Yorkshire have played a huge part in the North’s thriving sports landscape.
“I’m confident that if successful, they will deliver the best ever Road World Championships.
“Securing another global event will cement the North’s reputation as a sporting powerhouse and inspire more people to become active and emulate their heroes.”
A decision on Yorkshire’s bid to host the competition, which if successful would make it Great Britain’s first Road World Championships since Goodwood in 1982, is expected to be made after the UCI’s annual congress in Doha next month.
The annual championships involve a series of time trials and road races for male and female elite, under-23 and junior riders.
For the most part, riders compete in national teams and the winner of each race category gets to wear the coveted rainbow jersey in races of that category until the next championships.
Yorkshire’s Tom Simpson, Beryl Burton and Lizzie Armitstead have worn the road race rainbow jersey for Great Britain in previous years.
Foster’s support for a Yorkshire-based championships comes as the eyes of the world fall on the North. Around 57,000 runners are set to take part in the Great North Run on Sunday after the Great North CityGames in the North East the day prior and major sporting fixtures in Yorkshire and Manchester this week.