Tour of Wessex Premier Calendar race is off

The Tour of Wessex Premier Calendar race has been completely cancelled, after initially being cut from a three-day stage race to a two-day, and then a one-off event over recent months.

Organiser Pendragon Sports initially planned a three-day stage race (May 23-25) to run just ahead of the established cyclo-sportive, which remains unaffected.

Last year’s planned race was cancelled and in the autumn Nicholas Bourne of Pendragon Sports agreed to cut the race to two days because police had concerns about securing the roads on a busy late May bank holiday Monday.

Then, a fortnight ago, the size of the police bill, which could have cost between £125,000 and £140,000 meant the race was hurriedly redrawn as a 93-mile one-day race based on three circuits in Somerton.

Now, though, Trafeco, the appointed traffic management company, Somerset Highways and Avon and Somerset Constabulary say there is not enough time to organise the road closures.

Bourne hopes to run a National B event alongside the cyclo-sportive.

The Tour of Wessex is the second Premier Calendar race to be cancelled. The Archer Grand Prix recently bit the dust and the Chas Messenger two-day has been cut to a single day because of a lack of sponsorship.

It means the Premier Calendar series will consist of 11 races, starting with the Bikeline Two-Day (March 14-15).

The current issue of Cycling Weekly, which is on sale in newsagents until Wednesday, features an in-depth study of the difficulties facing race organisers in Britain as costs spiral and the lack of a clear, cohesive legal framework means continually moving goalposts.


British race calendar 2009