Potholes threaten to put athletes and spectators at risk if left untreated before the ITU World Triathlon Series comes to Leeds, it is claimed.
Triathlon fan and building surveyor John-Paul Ashton, who lives near the route in Meanwood, has called on race organisers to take action after listing 19 areas of deep or multiple potholes during two runs of the event’s 42.5km cycle route.
The 37-year-old enthusiast and member of Leeds & Bradford Triathlon Club fears the speed the packs of professional triathletes will be riding at will mean damaged surfaces will be “amplified in their danger”.
Race organisers Leeds City Council and British Triathlon have confirmed that repair work is scheduled over the coming weeks, with the latest route review taking place last week.
Mr Ashton said: “We don’t want people coming to Leeds saying ‘the city’s really nice but I got punctures and crashed out because I hit two potholes’.
“Leeds and Yorkshire want to put on the best show they can.”
The enthusiast, who also owns sports firm Triathlonbox, said the cycling route’s damaged downhill sections through areas like Meanwood pose the most serious safety issues.
He added: “People are starting to come and practice the route and many are starting to get worried by some of the potholes as some of those riders are going to be tanking along at 45 to 50mph in some cases and TT bikes don’t give them much access to brakes.”
The Brownlees will be among the pros taking on the event, featuring a 1.5km swim through Rounday’s Waterloo Lake, a bike ride from Roundhay through Meanwood to Leeds and a 10km city centre run on June 12.
A joint statement from Leeds City Council and British Triathlon said route repairs have been on hold until the chance of frost or further weather-related road damage has passed.
The statement read: “All parties have every confidence the route condition will be safe and of the standard required to host the event in June.”