Loss of Women's Tour would be hammer blow for peloton, Elisa Longo Borghini says

British Cycling says 'every possible effort' will be made to ensure a women's event takes place in calendar slot occupied by the Women's Tour

Elisa Longo Borghini
(Image credit: © SWpix.com)

Elisa Longo Borghini, the most recent winner of the Women’s Tour, has said that the race not being held would be a major blow for the peloton. 

The Italian triumphed in the 2022 edition of the race, which happened to be the last time it was held before it was then postponed the following year by the promoter SweetSpot. 

Cycling Weekly revealed on Thursday that SweetSpot - the former promoter of both the Tour of Britain and the Women's Tour - has now entered liquidation after being beset by financial difficulties all but confirming the race is now at risk of vanishing completely. 

Longo Borghini said that she feared for the future of the race and highlighted its importance on the women’s WorldTour calendar.  

She said: “It's not nice if the Women's Tour is not taking place this year too because it's been one of the first races to really raise the level of women's cycling.

“It was slowly becoming one of the races that riders were looking at in their calendar to race. So I will be very very sad [if it does not take place].” 

“It was an important stage race,” she added. “It always had a very good parcours, was very well organised, the crowd was really nice and you could feel a good vibe there. We as riders were always really happy to race it.” 

As well as her own victory in 2022, Longo Borghini was also part of the Trek-Segafredo [now Lidl-Trek] team when Lizzie Deignan won the overall classification in 2019. 

“I also have very good memories of the race,” she explained. “Especially from 2019 winning the GC with Lizzie, then in 2022 winning the GC myself in that very thrilling finale.” 

The Italian also acknowledged that the potential loss of the race would be a huge disappointment for cycling fans in Britain. 

She said: “I did notice that the fans were always really cheering and they were really involved in the race and it was really nice for us, I can tell you. 

“I always really like to race in the UK because the people are very kind, they are very cheerful. Of course it will be something that they will miss, but we are also going to miss them. It also works the other way you know, we will be missing them too.”

After stripping SweetSpot of the Tour of Britain race licence last Autumn, all eyes now turn to British Cycling and the governing body’s plans for the future of the women's and men’s races. 

It's understood that as well as the Tour of Britain, British Cycling will also strive to ensure that a women's event will take place within the existing Women's Tour calendar slot. 

A British Cycling spokesperson told Cycling Weekly: “We are making every possible effort to ensure that the Tour of Britain and a UCI Women’s World Tour stage race take place in 2024 and beyond, and will be in a position to provide further details in the coming weeks.” 

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