OTLEY'S pubs are adopting exotic new personas.

All of the the town's bars are renaming themselves and adopting the colours, flags and flavours of their adopted nation to celebrate the UCI Road World Championships.

The big cycling event gets underway on Sunday, September 22 and runs through until Sunday, September 29 - with the Elite Men's and Women's races due to come through Otley during the final weekend.

Otley Pub Club has created the Pub Nations scheme - supported by Otley Town Council - to help the town's inns, who will be translating their names and flying the flags of their adopted countries, support the event.

Many of the participating pubs and bars (plus two cafes) are also offering themed food and drinks or putting on special events.

On Thursday, September 26 The Curious Hop will mark its twinning with Germany - and Oktoberfest - by installing a barrel of Paulaner beer, from Munich, which will be served in litre steins with pretzels and German snacks. The event is ticket only, with tickets available from the venue.

Then on Friday, September 27 former World Champion cyclist Johan Museeuw – nicknamed The Lion of Flanders - will be leading a ride from Harrogate’s Belgian pub, The Corner Haus, to the North Bar Social in Otley. The Otley bar is twinning with Belgium and will be renamed The Flemish Lion in Johan’s honour.

The Belgian legend and representatives of VisitFlanders will be greeted by Otley Town Mayor Councillor Peter Jackson, with refreshments provided by O’Deli and funded by Otley BID.

Bloomfield Square cafe, meanwhile, will be showing the film Time Trial - about pro cycling - on Tuesday, September 24. Entry costs £10 - for more details visit the Bloomfieldsquare Facebook page.

The cafe is twinned with Eritrea and Eritrean cyclist Awet Habtom is also planning to leading a rideout from the café with the owner Tony Wright’s brother, Michael - with the date and time to be cofirmed.

On Saturday, September 28 The Black Horse Hotel - Il Cavallo Nero - will also be hosting a rideout, at 10am, in honour of the women’s elite race which takes place that day. The pub will also be having a Magic Rock Brewery tap takeover and pizzas will be on the menu all week.

On the same day drinkers at The Cross Pipes - de Gekruisde Pijpen - will be outside wearing the orange colours of the Dutch team as the women’s race goes right past their front door.

Town Mayor Cllr Jackson said: "The Pub Nations celebration is a great way to celebrate Otley’s reputation as both a famous pub town and a famous cycling town!

"On behalf of the town and Otley Town Council I wish a very warm welcome to visitors from all over the globe and suggest to everyone travelling to Yorkshire for Yorkshire 2019 that they take the opportunity to visit Otley and its famous pubs.

"It will be a great week and I will be joining people cheering on the riders and visiting the Pub Nations."

Event co-ordinator Bob Brook, of Otley Pub Club, said: "After a lot of planning and hard work it’s great to see the Pub Nations event all coming together.

"There’s been a great response from embassies, consulates and tourist boards, and Otley’s pubs and publicans are enthusiastically embracing their new nations. Many are ordering food and drink from their nation, as well as putting up flags and planning wearing national costume or colours."

Chair of Otley Town Council's Trade and Tourism Committee, Councillor Paul Carter, added: "It’s wonderful that once again we have a world class cycling event in Yorkshire and coming through Otley.

"With the town being famous for cycling and its many pubs, the town council is delighted to support the pub club’s Pub Nations celebration."