The Tour Series, Britain’s largest annual racing series, will not be held this year, due to financial constraints.
Instead, it will take a one-year hiatus, with a vision to return in 2024.
The decision was announced on Monday by the event organisers, SweetSpot, who cited “the most challenging economic climate the series has faced” as a determining factor.
A statement shared by the Tour Series read: “It has proved impossible to compile a commercially viable calendar of events for May due to the pressures on local authority funding, combined with the wider economic challenges all businesses face.”
The Tour Series, which was first launched in 2009, has become an important event on the British domestic calendar, running criterium races in the month of May.
Over the past 14 years, the series has seen the country’s best riders and teams compete in cities such as London, Manchester and Edinburgh. Previous round winners include former world cyclocross champion Tom Pidcock, Olympic track gold medallist Ed Clancy and 2018 national road champion Jess Roberts.
The statement continued: “SweetSpot will use this break to work with British Cycling and partners on plans for the return of the series in 2024 to celebrate its 15th anniversary, complete with a refreshed format and events in Britain’s major cities as part of a fun filled, community day celebrating cycling and active travel.”
🚨 Tour Series update 🚨An update on the 2023 Tour Series, full story here 👉 https://t.co/rVNgYd3wRw#TourSeries pic.twitter.com/EHRYU58NvbFebruary 20, 2023
The news of the Tour Series’s postponement comes just two months after it was announced that the calendars for the men’s and women’s National Road Series would shrink in 2023.
This year, both calendars will lose two races: the three-day Manx International stage race and the Stockton Grand Prix. Speaking to Cycling Weekly last year, Geoff Lloyd, the organiser of the latter, pinned the event’s axing on “the current financial climate” which, he added, “came up and bit us”.
In a statement regarding the National Road Series, British Cycling’s acting cycling delivery director, Jonathan Day, explained that the governing body always strives to support race organisers, but “simply [doesn’t] have the means to underwrite all of [its] events”.
It is hoped that, like the Tour Series, both races will return to the domestic calendar in the near future.
SweetSpot, which has organised the Tour Series since its inception in 2009, is also responsible for running the Tour of Britain and the Women’s Tour, the UK's two flagship stage races. Both events are expected to run as usual this year, but are yet to find title sponsors.
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