The new Scandinavian Women's WorldTour stage race scheduled for this summer has changed its name from Battle of the North to the Tour of Scandinavia to avoid links to the war in Ukraine.
Launched on Thursday, the race will consist of six stages over six days across Denmark, Sweden and Norway from 9-14 August.
It replaces the Ladies Tour of Norway, and carries over the same organisers, and some similar stages.
The race was originally announced in 2019, the organiser hoping to amalgamate the two Swedish one-day events at Vårgårda and the Norwegian race into a 10-day event. This has not proved possible, with Vårgårda, which runs two WorldTour races - a team time trial and road race - on the same weekend, choosing to remain independent. Its reduced size was revealed last year.
It was intended to be known as the Battle of the North, and promotion efforts had gone into that; it is expected it might return to its original name in the future.
However, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the ongoing war which has now entered its second month, organisers decided a name change was appropriate.
"We have spent several years building the brand "Battle of The North"," Roy Moberg, the race's general director said in a press release. "Significant resources have been invested in advance of the launch, but we do not want to use a name that can be linked to war as the world now appears.
"In respect with everyone who suffers as a result of the terrible war in Ukraine, we so far brand the riding concept as "Tour of Scandinavia" and tone down the use of the name Battle of The North."
The race will consist of one stage in Denmark, with the race starting in Copenhagen, then one stage in Sweden, before the final four stages are raced in Norway.
The race will make for a busy summer of top-level stage racing for the women’s peloton, with the addition of the eight-day Tour de France Femmes following the ten-day Giro d'Italia Donne in July.
The Tour of Scandinavia's queen stage is on 13 August, with a 10 km long climb to the finish at Norefjell Ski & Spa ending the day.
"We can with this race present a fantastic nature and several interesting places in all the three countries," Moberg said.
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