Event organiser IMG UK Ltd has withdrawn its services from the Etape Hibernia cyclo-sportive in Ireland, citing financial losses over the first two years of the event as the reason for its withdrawal.
IMG managing director James Robinson said in a statement: "We are truly sad that we are unable to continue running the Etape Hibernia. Our team has really enjoyed working on the event over the past two years and have put a lot of hard work into trying to make the project a success."
"Although the event attracted a significant number of cyclists and their families to County Clare on the stunning west coast of Ireland, the number of participants was disappointing and didn't reach projected levels. This, unfortunately, makes the event not commercially viable for IMG."
The Etape Hibernia was created in 2010 as an 84-mile closed-roads challenge ride in County Clare, on the west coast of Ireland. Despite attracting a large number of participants, the entry levels still fell short of the 2000 riders that the organisers had hoped for. The event was sponsored by Sky as part of its Sky Ride series.
Riders already entered into the 2012 event, which was due to be held on August 26, are being given the option of a refund of their €54 entry fee or for it to be transferred to any new organiser.
Shannon Development and Clare County Council are keen for the event to continue, and an announcement will be made regarding the ride's future.
IMG UK Ltd will continue to run the Etape Caledonia and the newly-created Etape Pennines.
February 2010: Sky gets behind closed road event in Ireland
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