DALES businesses are putting in place preparations to welcome the UCI Road World Championships, with everything from giant pork pies to glittery window displays created by local children.
It’s now less than 40 days to go until the global cycle race arrives in Yorkshire.
In Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale, businesses have already begun their preparations. The race will pass through the town on two separate occasions, with the Men’s Under-23s race heading through the town on Friday, September 27 and the Women’s Elite race on Saturday, September 28.
One of the town’s family-run butchers, Weatherhead and Sons, on Pateley Bridge High Street, is planning to create a giant UCI pork pie, decorated in cycling-related images, which will take pride of place in their shop window. The business - which is run by Andrew Weatherhead and has been in his family for five generations - is famous for its pork pies.
Andrew’s father, Ian, said: “This will be a world affair and we have done our utmost to ensure Nidderdale provides a good welcome.
“With this race being televised on the BBC, there’s no advert breaks and no chance we will be missed - it’s really going to promote Harrogate and the wider area.”
Tilly Chandler runs the Spar store on the High Street with her husband. She is planning to get local children to help create a colourful, rainbow window display for the store on the High Street.
Tilly said for businesses like hers, the benefit would come from the legacy of the race, rather than the day itself.
“On the day itself we get people coming in buying bottles of water or snacks, but not doing their big shop. But thanks to the publicity on television, we get people coming in throughout the year and people coming in saying they saw us on the race,” she said.
Sandra Walker is a community hub coordinator at Nidderdale Community Hub, which houses the local library, Tourist Information Centre and a host of drop-in sessions, groups and other meetings in Pateley Bridge. She said they were already receiving queries from visitors, including one who was visiting the town to plan his viewing point, from where he will watch the race through Nidderdale.
Sandra said: “He’s already arranged his accommodation for the race and picked out his spot where he will view the race from. He can’t wait!”
The UCI Road World Championships will begin in Yorkshire on September 22, preceded for the first time by the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International on Saturday, September 21.
Over the nine-day event, approximately 1,400 athletes from 90 different countries will arrive in the region, along with support teams, journalists and other visitors from across the UK and overseas.
It is hoped the event will also bring more visitors and holiday-makers into the Yorkshire Dales. Businesses across the Yorkshire Dales are keen to stress they remain open for business since floods hit parts of Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale. People have been urged to continue supporting its pubs, cafes, shops and hotels as they recover from the recent severe weather.
Volunteers, local residents and council staff have been out in communities helping provide relief aid and support to stricken communities since last week’s intense rain, which swamped roads and surrounding land and overwhelmed drainage systems. Rivers carrying debris, including stones and boulders added to the destructive force of the water.
The water completely destroyed a masonry bridge on Grinton Moor, which formed part of the race route. Work on creating a temporary replacement crossing has already begun. It is hoped the temporary replacement will enable the race to take place along its existing, publicised route.
Kirsty Hannam, of Visit Nidderdale, said following this week’s devastating floods, an event like the UCI Road World Championships was important in showing people the Yorkshire Dales is still open for business.
“Pateley Bridge and Upper Nidderdale survived the recent flooding relatively unscathed, and we stand in solidarity with our sister Dales who have been worst affected,” she said.
“All of Nidderdale’s businesses, tourist attractions, and transport links are open and welcoming visitors as usual.
“This is a crucial time of year for the local economy, so if you have an existing booking please don’t cancel. Check with your accommodation provider for further information.
“If you haven’t booked yet, but were planning to visit the Dales this summer, we have a huge variety of places to go and explore.”
North Yorkshire County Councillor for the Nidderdale ward, Cllr Stanley Lumley, said; “Pateley Bridge is one of the many picturesque dales communities the road race will pass through this September and is planning a fantastic welcome for the race.
“The widespread, global coverage the race brings with it - nationally and globally - is guaranteed to bring visitors back to this picturesque, welcoming town time and again to explore this beautiful area, long after the race has finished.”