Upper Dales and Swaledale cut out of UCI route due to weather

The diversion route.

The Upper Dales and Swaledale have been cut out of today’s UCI Road World Championships elite men’s road race due to the weather.

The change means riders will head from Aysgarth rather than head up the Dales towards Hawes.

Instead, of passing over the Buttertubs, down Swaledale and over Grinton Moor to Leyburn, the race will travel along the A684 through West Witton, Wensley and then back on to planned route from Leyburn.

Race organisers said in a statement issued this morning: “Due to heavy rain that continues to fall across the northern section of the Elite Men’s Road Race route, Yorkshire 2019 and the UCI have taken the decision to divert the route at Bishopdale Beck just outside Aysgarth, and to direct riders east up Temple Bank and along the A684 to Leyburn where the race will continue as normal.

“The decision was made after extensive consultation with the UCI, our multi-agency partners, the environment agency and local mountain rescue teams.

“We consider the safety of spectators and riders as paramount and want everyone to enjoy the racing, but the conditions in the Dales puts that at risk.

“This means, regrettably, that the race will not now pass through Bainbridge, Hawes, Buttertubs, Muker, Gunnerside, Reeth, and Grinton Moor.

“We know this will be hugely disappointing to the communities in these locations who have been planning events and celebrations to coincide with the race today. We are very sorry.”

Fans have been told they can head to West Witton, Wensley and Leyburn to watch the race instead.

Race organisers say the publicity caravan will still go-ahead and will leave Reeth at 9am this morning before heading to Leyburn to meet up with the race.

New estimated timings have been issued. They are:

The decision is a blow for communities in the Upper Dales and Swaledale who had planned events and celebrates to welcome the prestigious race.

However, celebrations are expected to continue despite the diversion.

The race will be screened live on a big screen in Bainbridge.

The Beefeaters, who are described as cycling’s version of the Barmy Army, will be in Leyburn rather than on Grinton Moor.

They say they will then head back to the Dales Bike Centre, in Fremington, to continue the party and watch the race on the big screen.

Thousands of people were expected to watch the race from Grinton Moor, as they did when the route was first sued in 2014 for the Tour France Grand Depart.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for rain until 5pm today in North Yorkshire.

Photos of social media show flooding on the route on what was the planned route.