After a breakdown in negotiations, the hugely successful Tour de Yorkshire event will not be returning to the calendar, but a new race is set to replace it.
The event first ran in 2015, as a legacy from the previous year's Tour de France Grand Depart, in the county. LIke many other events it was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but since then has not returned. Past winners of the men’s race include Greg Van Avermaet and Thomas Voeckler.
After the pandemic, talks took place between Silicon Dales (a group which bought the rights to the race) and the owners of the Tour de France, Amaury Sports Organisation.
Both groups looked to continue the partnership which has previously delivered the race, however it has now been revealed that the talks have failed to find a resolution to bring back the event.
This morning, the Yorkshire Post revealed that the organisers of the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour, SweetSpot, have been part of an agreement in principle to deliver a new race in Yorkshire in 2024.
The two groups plan to deliver a new race in the region to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of the popular Grand Depart of the Tour de France in the area. The original Tour de Yorkshire was a four-day race for the men, with a two day event for the women’s equivalent, although the new race is likely to be a one-day classics style race.
According to the Yorkshire Post, it is hoped that the event will be able to carry the same UCI ranking. It is also believed that the new race will include both a men’s and women’s race, both of equal standing. Due to ASO currently owning the Tour de Yorkshire name, organisers of the new race are seeking to create a new name in order to help shape an identity for the event.
Silicon Dales, which gained a number of Welcome to Yorkshire’s assets earlier this year when the company was put into administration, has sought to reform the agency and prepare to deliver other cycling events in Yorkshire. The company have been trading again as Welcome to Yorkshire since earlier this month.
The company’s owner, Robin Scott, told the Yorkshire Post: “We couldn’t have tried any harder to get an agreement with ASO for the Tour de Yorkshire event, but we needed a partner on the delivery side who wanted the event to go ahead in the future. In SweetSpot, who organise the Tour of Britain, we have found a partnership which will be good for Yorkshire.”
The deal with SweetSpot has not been completely finalised and signed off, although it’s likely that any arrangement would also see stages of both the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour visit Yorkshire in 2023. The Tour of Britain is due to visit Yorkshire in September this year, with stage four taking place between Redcar and Helmsley.
Scott added: “In 2024, we’re hoping to deliver a marquee event for the region which evokes a similar energy to the amazing 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart we remember so fondly.”
On the return of the Tour of Britain to Yorkshire, Hugh Roberts of SweetSpot said:
"We are looking forward to returning to Yorkshire this September for what is going to be one of the toughest stages of this year’s race. The route takes in the beautiful coastline around Whitby and the tough climbs of the North York Moors so it will be great way to return in style!"
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