Road World Championships Day 6: Richmond to Harrogate Circuit
The field for the Mens Junior Road Race title will be tested on their way to Harrogate with a detour into the Yorkshire Dales and some challenging climbs where the race may not be won, but it could easily be lost.
The race begins in Richmond, North Yorkshire. This dales market town with its striking castle sits on the banks of the River Swale and boasts beautiful medieval streets and a vibrant market square and market hall.
Heading straight into the Dales this route starts as it means to go on, the riders will climb out of Swaledale and drop into Wensleydale and the town of Leyburn. From there the race explores the valley of Wensleydale before ascending its first serious climb, Kidstones Pass. This ramp may split the peloton, but the long descent and more gentle profile of the ride down Wharfedale should allow the race to come back together.
The route follows the River Wharfe though the villages of Kettlewell, Threshfield and Burnsall before passing the iconic Bolton Abbey and turning into the next significant ascent. Kex Gill is a locally infamous stretch of road, one of the first in the area to close in winter weather and susceptible to high winds due to the lack of shelter. The 200m climb of Kex Gill may not be particularly steep but it will take strong legs and willpower to hold the lead over this peak.
The race now descends and undulates on its approach to Harrogate. Any breakaway will struggle to stay head hear; with line-of-site for miles along the road, and some significant ramps the final miles into Harrogate will favour the pursuers if a chase occurs.
The Junior Men’s riders then take on 3 laps of the 14km Harrogate loop which is far from flat and rarely straight, so could very easily mix things up again before the title of World Champion is decided in the centre of Harrogate next to the Stray.
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