Yorkshire makes last-ditch bid to host world class cycling event – four weeks before it starts

Riders race to the finish of stage two of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire in Doncaster.
Riders race to the finish of stage two of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire in Doncaster.
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Tourism bosses in Yorkshire have launched a late bid to bring yet another world class cycling event to the White Rose.

Welcome to Yorkshire, which was behind the county’s successful bid to host the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart, has confirmed it has put the region in the running to host the European Road Cycling Championships next month.

The French city of Nice was due to host the event from September 14 to 18 but it was postponed amid safety fears in the wake of the Bastille Day terror attack that killed 85 people.

Yorkshire is believed to be one of three venues that organisers, the Union Européenne de Cyclisme (UEC), are looking at to host the tournament on the same dates.

The championships, which have been solely run for junior and under-23 riders since 1995, had been due to host elite riders such as Vincezo Nibali and Alberto Contador for the first time in their history this year.

A Welcome to Yorkshire spokeswoman told Yorkshire Post Newspapers: “We hope that the organisers manage to find an alternative in France but if they don’t and they want to find an alternative place to host the race outside of France, we want to step into the ring.

Vincenzo Nibali is due to race in this year's championships. Picture by AP Photo/ Christophe Ena.

Vincenzo Nibali is due to race in this year's championships. Picture by AP Photo/ Christophe Ena.

“Yorkshire would be honoured to host the event.”

But the organisation, led by Sir Gary Verity, believes Brittany is in pole position to be selected as Nice’s replacement.

The UEC is expected to reveal the name of the new hosts by Sunday August 14 – one month before the start of the event.

The championships include a series of road races and time trials over five days, catering to junior, under-23 and elite male and female riders.

It is not yet clear which areas of Yorkshire are being lined up to host the event if Welcome to Yorkshire’s bid proves successful.

The European Road Cycling Championships could be the fourth major cycling event to be hosted in the county in the last three years following the 2014 Grand Depart and two subsequent Tour de Yorkshires.

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