To celebrate one month to go until the opening ceremony of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships, Yorkshire 2019 have announced there will be a publicity caravan for the very first time in the event’s 98-year history.
Publicity caravans are a popular feature in cycling and involve a wacky and colourful convoy of vehicles travelling ahead of the races handing out freebies and keepsakes at various locations along the route.
The caravan will feature on the Women’s and Men’s Elite Road Races which take place on Saturday 28 September and Sunday 29 September respectively. The flotilla will travel the full route of the women’s race, which sees the riders roll out of Bradford at 11.40am, and pick up the men’s race in Reeth given the relatively early start time of 8.40am in Leeds.
Reeth was chosen especially as a way of recognising the resolve and spirit shown in the wake of the severe floods which ravaged parts of Yorkshire last month.
Swaledale (which encompasses Reeth) was particularly badly hit with many residents suffering damage to their homes and businesses. The bridge on Grinton Moor – which was due to feature in the Men’s Elite Road Race – was washed away completely but North Yorkshire County Council are acting swiftly to build a temporary replacement, meaning the route for that race will be unchanged.
Yorkshire 2019 CEO Andy Hindley said: “We want to make the 2019 UCI Road World Championships the most inspiring, inclusive and innovative edition in the event’s history – and organising the first-ever publicity caravan at a Championships is another way of doing that.
“They are a fun and light-hearted way to get fans excited before the riders arrive, and they help build a real sense of occasion.
“We decided not to run the caravans for the entire length of the men’s race as we felt some people might not have appreciated this loud and vibrant procession passing through so early in the day [laughs].
“Reeth was the perfect place to start the caravan on the final day of action as it has endured such a tough time of it lately.
“We’ve got some amazing brands taking part in the caravan and it’ll be a brilliant spectacle not to be missed.”
Full details of when and where the caravan will stop will be announced in due course.