Landmarks across Yorkshire were lit up in rainbow bands on Thursday night to celebrate six months to go until the 2019 UCI Road World Championships.
The following sights were illuminated in unison at 18:20 GMT to mark the prestigious event, which will be held in the county in September:
Beverley- St Mary’s Church
Bradford- City Hall and Centenary Square
Harrogate- Knaresborough Castle
Leeds- Civic Hall
Northallerton- Civic Hall
Richmond- Friary Gardens
The colour bands (blue, red, black, yellow and green) were specially chosen as a nod to the rainbow jersey that is awarded to the winners of the individual time trial and road race events at the Championships. As the organising team note, the world champions then have the honour of wearing that jersey for a full year of competition – making it one of the most iconic prizes in the sport.
Yorkshire 2019 CEO Andy Hindley was present in Bradford to switch on the lights alongside Cllr Sarah Ferriby from Bradford Council. Hindley said, “The countdown is most definitely on! We couldn’t be more excited and felt this was a bold and eye-catching way to mark the occasion.
“The next six months are going to be busy but everything is on track and we’re looking forward to hosting this once-in-a-generation event on behalf of Great Britain.”
The UCI Road World Championships have only been held in Great Britain on three previous occasions, the most recent of which was at Goodwood in 1982. The 2019 Championships will take place in Yorkshire between 22-29 September.
The celebrations will begin on Saturday 21 September when – for the first time – a UCI-sanctioned, one-day international para-cycling event will take place alongside the Championships.
The Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International will act as a qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and will welcome entries from every Paralympic road racing classification.
The championships commence on the Sunday with the maiden Mixed Team Time Trial Relay and the programme continues through to Sunday 29 September with Individual Time Trials and Road Races for Junior (Under 18), Under 23 and Elite male and female riders.
Approximately 1,400 riders are set to compete from 190 countries and the action will be beamed to a global TV audience of over 250 million.