SCORES of people gathered on the streets of a market town to watch as cyclists careered through on the final day of the UCI Road World Championships.

On Sunday, people of all ages turned out to Leyburn in North Yorkshire, as they took their place on part of the 162-mile racetrack from Leeds to Harrogate.

Despite heavy rain, which had already resulted in race organisers being forced to miss out Aysgarth, Buttertubs and Grinton Moor from its route, race-goers were poised trackside for racers to speed by.

Not letting worsening weather dampen spirits, Adrian and Rachel Bramley, said they had to race from their Richmond home, upon discovery that race times had been brought forward.

The Northern Echo:

The pair, who have been watching the races all week, said they had to see the race on its penultimate day.

Mrs Bramley said: “We've watched the cycling all week on the TV and we went to it in Richmond for the roll-out of the Men's Junior Race – we weren’t going to miss it on the last day."

Mrs Bramley, who said it was unlikely they would get to see the UCI again in her lifetime, said the weather had fazed them or fellow visitors.

She said: “We’re hardy here – we were just glad it's coming through Leyburn because I looked at the forecast and saw they had cut part of the route off the timings were different – we had to bomb it out of Richmond.

“We probably won't see it again in Britain, not in our lifetime because it was the 1982 the last time it came."

Torrential rain overnight on Saturday and into Sunday left roads in the Dales standing in water, and UCI bosses took the decision to divert the route early on Sunday on safety grounds. Many people who had gathered at the Dales Bike Centre at Grinton were forced to find alternative viewing points. The race had been due to go across the rebuilt bridge on Grinton Moor, which was destroyed in July's floods.

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Race fans Jim and Beryl Boaden from Essex, said they had booked themselves into a B&B in Aysgarth, about seven miles from Leyburn, in the hope they could see the riders pass by the village.

But as a result of Sunday's racetrack shortening and the omission of Aysgarth, the pair dashed to Leyburn to secure a place on the track.

Mrs Boaden said: “We actually booked for this last year as we heard that the race was coming by Aysgarth, so we immediately booked because we knew they’d be absolutely booked up at this time.

"Earlier in the week, we saw the Juniors go past Aysgarth and we were expecting to see the Elite Men's Race go through there today, but of course because of the weather it’s all been changed and that’s why we’ve come to Leyburn."

At around 11.40am, the championship riders flashed by through Railway Street after spending hours negotiating heavy rain and standing water on parts of the track.

In an instant, the procession of bicycles were already well ahead of Leyburn, as they sped towards the finish in Harrogate.

The Northern Echo:

As rain continued to fall, Brodey Laundon, shop assistant at House & Home in Leyburn, said the Road World Championships had been great for trade and was "something different" for the town.

He said: "It gives us something different.

"It's been a great thing for Leyburn, we’ve had a lot more people in the shop that we don’t usually see. People came down, huge bike enthusiasts, came down and they always need a poncho in this weather. It's been good to see different people coming in to our shop and it’s brought people from all over.

"It’s been fun for us."