The Women's Tour will not be broadcast live on TV in 2021

Despite having an agreement with Eurosport GCN the women's Tour of Britain is not able to broadcast live

The Women's Tour
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2021 Women's Tour will not be broadcasted live on television, with the race organiser saying it "shares the disappointment" with fans who wanted to watch the race live.

After a year out of the race calendar, the event is coming back for its seventh edition with all the stages taking place in the south-east of England.

The exact reasons for the race not having live pictures are not specified, but the organiser Sweetpot pointed to commercial pressures and an "incredibly challenging" last period in which there has been no Women's Tour. The last edition, won by Lizzie Deignan, was held in 2019 with last year's race cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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In an announcement on the race's website, organiser Sweetspot said: "The past two years have been incredibly challenging as a race organiser, particularly since there has not been an edition of the Women’s Tour for 28 months.  

"This has been the hardest time in the race’s existence and provided challenges even greater than when we created and established the Women’s Tour in 2014.

"As a result of these commercial realities, we will not be able to expand the coverage of the Women’s Tour in 2021 to include a live broadcast."

There will still be highlight packages on both ITV4 in the UK as well as Eurosport GCN globally, even though it was announced that Eurosport GCN would be producing live images with the Women's Tour back in February this year.

"We appreciate that fans of the Women’s Tour in the UK and around the world will not be able to watch the race live. We share their disappointment," the announcement continued. 

"There is nothing that we would like more than to be able to showcase the fantastic racing, beautiful scenery and great community support that the race receives through a live broadcast."

One of the biggest races on the women's WorldTour calendar was the Giro Donne, the women's version of the Giro d'Italia, but when it could not produce live pictures, a required feature for WorldTour status by the UCI, it was demoted to the second division of racing.

It is not clear whether the Women's Tour will share the same fate, but the event says "the whole organisation shares the same determination to have a fantastic Women’s Tour in October 2021 and to do our upmost [sic] to be able to tell the story of the 2022 race live around the world."

The AJ Bell Women's Tour is set to take place from Monday, October 4 in Bicester to Saturday, October 9 in Felixstowe with the race starting just two days after the inaugural Paris-Roubaix femmes.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.