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.
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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.