Chris Pilling appointed Chair of Yorkshire 2019 to oversee delivery of UK’s UCI Road World Championships

Published 18 April 2017

Tour De Yorkshire 2016 Getty Images

Chris Pilling has been appointed as the Chair of Yorkshire 2019 as preparations gather pace towards staging cycling’s prestigious UCI Road World Championships in 2019.

Pilling has held several senior executive roles leading some of the UK’s highest profile companies, many of them based in Yorkshire, and recently stepped down as CEO of the Yorkshire Building Society.

He has also served as the CEO of First Direct and held senior leadership positions at HSBC, British Airways and Asda.

Pilling, a keen cyclist who lives in Harrogate, will now play a key leadership role in the sport as the UK prepares to host the UCI Road World Championships for the first time since 1982.

Yorkshire won the right to host the event in October 2016 in a move that cemented its place as a world-renowned cycling destination. 

Yorkshire famously staged the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014 when four million lined the streets to witness the world’s top cyclists in action while it now hosts the annual Tour de Yorkshire.

Pilling is joined on the Board of Yorkshire 2019 by four other independent directors: Paul Williamson, Denise Jagger, Malgorzata Grzyb and Dee Paterson. The remaining five directors have been nominated by key event partners: Sir Gary Verity (Welcome to Yorkshire), Jonny Clay (British Cycling), Nick Pontefract (Department of Culture, Media and Sport), Richard Flinton (North Yorkshire County Council) and Simon Morton (UK Sport).

Two further appointments are expected to follow, meaning a Board of 12 will oversee preparations for the event.

Yorkshire 2019 Chair Chris Pilling said: “I feel honoured and privileged to be appointed Chair of Yorkshire 2019 and to be working with a highly capable and experienced Board to oversee preparations for this event in our great county.

“Yorkshire has shown it can successfully host world-class events with the Grand Départ and Tours de Yorkshire so I am fully confident we will stage a fantastic nine-day World Championships in 2019 that will do the county and the UK proud.

“We have got the amazing scenery, passionate crowds and the very warm Yorkshire welcome that will ensure the world’s best riders enjoy competing on challenging roads we have to offer.”

UK Sport Chief Operating Officer Simon Morton said: “Chris will bring the leadership and experience required to ensure that Yorkshire hosts a World Championships that the county and the country can be proud of.

“We are also delighted to be announcing the appointment of an incredibly experienced Board to oversee this event, each of whom will make a key contribution in ensuring that the UK continues its reputation as world-leading host of international sporting events.

“The Board will play a critical role in ensuring that the investment from the Government and the National Lottery is maximised to deliver a memorable event and an enduring legacy for the sport.” 

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