The Tour of Britain is set to visit the Isle of Wight for the first time in 2022.
A deal has today been signed between organisers SweetSpot and the Isle of Wight council for the stage race to visit the island, which has previously hosted races such as the Isle of Wight Classic in 1985 and the Tour Series in 2015.
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The 2022 edition is set to take in much of Britain, with Aberdeen set to host the opening stage before the race moves south towards the Isle of Wight for the final stage.
Additional opportunities will also be explored by both SweetSpot and the Isle of Wight for other cycling events in the run-up to the event.
The 2020 Tour of Britain has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with organisers deciding to keep 2020’s route for next year.
The pandemic had made planning and organising the race “impractical”, the Tour of Britain said in a statement, and that local authorities didn’t need the added strain of a large-scale public event when they currently have other, more important priorities. In addition, areas that were due to welcome the Tour of Britain this year wouldn’t have been able to maximise the various benefits of hosting the race.
The Tour of Britain said that conducting the race behind closed doors with extensive social distancing rules would also not work and would “rob our venues and spectators of these opportunities and go against everything that cycling, as a free-to-spectate and accessible event, stands for.”
By delaying the race by 12 months, organisers say it will make the 2021 race a “wonderful occasion for all and part of our continued pledge to make Britain a great cycling nation”.
The provisional dates for the 2021 race are September 5-12 and will feature a first-ever visit to Cornwall and an overall finish in the Aberdeen, before hosting the start of the 2022 edition as part of their two-year deal.