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Harrogate's twin towns

Col de Peyresourde

Col de Peyresourde, by Stephen Colebourne, Licence CC BY 2.0

Harrogate has three twin towns: Bagnères-de-Luchon (France), Montecatini Terme (Italy), and Barrie (Canada). There are exciting opportunities for cycling in our twin towns. Links are being revitalised by Harrogate's twinning committee: it was re-established in 2013, and there's now a Harrogate International Partnerships website.

Harrogate's twin towns: Bagnères-de-Luchon


Bagnères-de-Luchon, by dafiana, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Bagnères-de-Luchon is, like Harrogate, a spa resort. The French town's history goes back a lot further, though: it is said that one of Pompey's soldiers bathed in the thermal waters here in 76BC, and was cured of a complaint. In 25 BC, the Romans built three baths called balneum lixonese post Neapolitense primum (the best baths after those of Naples).

The baths were relaunched at the end of the 1700s, and attracted European royalty and aristocracy. The town was connected by railway in 1873, and a casino opened in 1880.

Bagnères-de-Luchon is sometimes called the Queen of the Pyrenees. It features in the Tour de France most years, including on Stage 16 of the 2018 Tour.

It's a great base for road cycling, with lots of famous climbs in easy reach. To the south east, a 10.5km ascent from Bagnères leads to the Col du Portillon, on the border with Andorra; the Col de Peyresourde is to the west; the Port de Balès to the north west; and if you head north towards the river Garonne, you can descend for about 90km.

Harrogate's twin towns committee has a contact at Luchon Cycling, Christian Lafont. His shop can cater to your needs, including bike rental.

Harrogate's twin towns: Montecatini


Montecatini, by Daniel Enchev, Licence CC BY 2.0

Montecatini is a town of about 20,000 people on the eastern end of the Piana di Lucca, in Tuscany. It is known for the Battle of Montecatini (1315), and as a spa town.

Montecatini is another good cycling area. It hosted the UCI Road World Championships in 2013. (Rui Costa won the men's road race, Tony Martin the time trial, Marianne Vos the women's road race, and Ellen van Dijk the time trial). In 2019, Harrogate hosts the UCI Road World Championships.

Harrogate's twin towns: Barrie

Barrie, Canada

Barrie, Canada, by phot0geek, Licence CC BY-SA 2.0

Harrogate is also twinned with Barrie, in Central Ontario, Canada. It is named after Sir Robert Barrie, a British Army commander in the War of 1812.

There's skiing in winter at nearby Snow Valley, Horseshoe Resort, Mount St Louis Moonstone, and Blue Mountain. In the summer, residents and visitors take advantage of the shores of Lake Simcoe.

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UCI Road World Championships 2019

Yorkshire 2019 cycling World Champs logo

Harrogate will be the centre of the cycling world for a week in September 2019.

It's to be the main hub for the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire. All the races will finish in Harrogate, and some of the starts will be here as well; other races will start in other Yorkshire towns and cities - Northallerton, Ripon, York, Leeds, Doncaster, and Beverley.

Read more about the UCI Road World Championships 2019.

Bagneres-de-Luchon MontecatiniBarrie