The 2019 UCI Road World Championships are off to a wet and wild start as torrential rain fell and roads flooded in Harrogate today causing two riders in the men’s event to suffer dramatic crashes.

Denmark’s European champion Johan Price-Pejtersen rode around a bend into a deep trench of water which sent him flying, his hopes of victory ended on the pavement. Then, Hungary’s Attila Valter came off a descent, lost control of his bike and then took to the road as if it was a slip and slide.

Price-Pejtersen started the day as one of the race favorites as European champion but ended in last following his spill.

“I think it was a bit extreme,” the Price-Pejtersen said. “In my opinion I think they should have cancelled it for a bit, until at least the pools (of water) had gone and the rain had stopped being so extreme.”

A UCI statement said,

“The UCI and Yorkshire 2019 will continue to monitor closely the events and take any appropriate decisions.”

Denmark’s Mikkel Bjerg defied the downpour, stayed upright and took the under-23 world championship time trial title for a third consecutive year. American duo Ian Garrison and Brandon McNulty took second and third over the 30.3km route from Ripon to Harrogate respectively.