UCI president Brian Cookson today confirmed that this year’s edition of the Tour of Beijing (October 10-14) will be the last.
Speaking to French newspaper L’Equipe, Cookson admitted that the UCI has opted against renewing the four-year deal the governing body signed with Global Cycling Promotions (GCP) to stage the event.
The GCP was an arm of the UCI tasked with the global promotion of cycling in a race organising capacity. The race, which has been run as a WorldTour event since its inception in 2011, returns a reported €500,000 per year for the UCI.
“It is not a major disaster,” said Cookson. “It is an event that has had its successes, but it’s not a major disaster. We will look for other partners to organize other events and try to find another way to end the season on the road [Beijing is currently the last World Tour of the year].”
Speaking about the future of the GCP, Cookson added: “We [the UCI] believe that we do not intend to be a major organiser of bicycle races.
“It is the function of others. Ours is to grow the sport and help its components.”
British success in the event has been limited – Steve Cummings won stage five in 2012, while David Millar and Chris Froome finished second and third overall in the inaugural edition 12 months earlier.