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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