Harrogate has been announced as the venue of another international cycling event next year – but before residents of the North Yorkshire town start erecting barricades around The Stray parkland, left muddy and waterlogged after the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in September, this one is a trade exhibition taking place indoors.
CycleSummit 2020, held from 10-13 October next year, marks the first time that Great Britain has hosted the event, which brings together cycle tourism professionals from around the world – this year, in Nyborg, Denmark, 75 cycle tour operators from 25 countries attended.
Harrogate has long been a popular venue for exhibitions, conferences and trade shows, with amenities geared towards catering for visitors, and the four-day event, which will include a day spent riding in the surrounding countryside, will be based at the DoubleTree by Hilton Harrogate – Majestic Hotel.
Peter Box, chair of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Yorkshire has shown time and again just what a fantastic location it is for hosting major conferences and events, and we’re thrilled that CycleSummit 2020 will be taking place in our county.
“The event will allow us to showcase Yorkshire as a world-class cycling destination once again and we’re confident it will lead to more cycle tour operators across the globe highlighting the county as an amazing place to visit.”
Heiko Riekenberg, CycleSummit managing director Heiko Riekenberg added: “We’re delighted to be bringing CycleSummit 2020 to Yorkshire, and from visiting the county in preparation for the event, we know this going to be a very special summit.
“Our event combines networking, workshops and a B2B marketplace, and we always look to host it in an interesting and inspiring cycling destination.
"Yorkshire certainly ticks those boxes and we couldn’t wish for a more suitable host town than Harrogate to base ourselves during the summit.”
The full programme for the event will appear on its website in due course.
Besides the recent world championships, Harrogate also hosted the finish of the opening stage of the Tour de France in 2014 and since then has featured regularly on the route of the Tour de Yorkshire.
However, when the towns that will host stage starts and finishes of next year’s Tour de Yorkshire were announced last month, it emerged that Harrogate had declined to apply, with arguments still going on about the effect of the world championships on the town’s residents and businesses.
One of the main areas of controversy was the condition that parts of The Stray, a 200-acre public park, was left in after the event, much of which took place under severe weather conditions including torrential rain on the final day which forced organisers to close the Fan Zone there on safety grounds.
This week, the Stray Defence Association (SDA), a voluntary body set up in 193 to protect the parkland, outlined plans for a community bulb planting project to help put the West Park Stray, where the Fan Zone was located, back to how it was before the world championships, although that is unlikely to happen before next autumn.
Both the SDA and the Harrogate Civic Society say that while they are not opposed to events taking place on The Stray, any that do should leave a “very light footprint,” reports the Ripon Gazette.
Councillor Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council, said that there would be no repeat of a temporary amendment to the law governing the use of The Stray that had been made ahead of the world championships.
“The UCI cycling championships were possible because of a temporary relaxation to the Stray Act granted by the Regulatory Reform Committee in the House of Commons,” he said.
“The council has committed that it will not apply for any further temporary relaxations
“Therefore, all future events need to comply with the provisions of the Stray Act in terms of how many days are used for the events and the area of the Stray that is utilised.
“Applications will be assessed in future as they were prior to the UCI event taking place.
“Feedback from residents about events that have happened in the past – such as the fairground on York Place Stray, the big screen for major sports events on West Park Stray and the Christmas Market on Montpellier Stray – will be taken into account when speaking to events organisers about future events,” he added.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.