Cycling fans will be disappointed to learn that the 2021 Tour de Yorkshire has been postponed until 2022 due to the on-going Corona virus pandemic. The tough decisions was taken after consultation with international cycling bodies and the host local authorities. The sixth edition of the race had been due to take place between 30th April and 3rd May 2020, but the recent surge of COVID-19 cases meant the event simply became untenable.
Welcome to Yorkshire’s Chief Executive James Mason said:
“During these uncertain times Welcome to Yorkshire need to focus on the immediate needs of the industry without committing both financial and human resources towards any activity or event that we cannot be certain of. Cycling has become synonymous with Yorkshire and the Tour de Yorkshire has become a firm fixture on the world cycling calendar due to the reception the riders and teams receive in our county. Whilst it is very disappointing that we will be bereft of this wonderful race for another year the decision we have made is the right one and perhaps the only one we could make. The uncertainty in front of us meant it was impossible to plan or commit the resource that the race needs. This has been a mutual decision made by Welcome to Yorkshire and the ASO and we will all now look forward to putting all our energies into bringing the race back bigger and better than ever in 2022.”
The race was planned to pass through Filey on its first day, on a coastal route between Beverley and Redcar. Although it will be a huge disappointment to everyone who has Filey, and Yorkshire, at their hearts, the decision is understandable given the uncertainty caused by the Covid pandemic. By postponing to 2022 it will allow businesses and local authorities to plan with absolute certainty that it will take place against a backdrop of a Covid free Yorkshire.
Yann Le Moenner, the Director General of the race organisers Amaury Sport Organisation said:
“We fully understand Welcome to Yorkshire’s position and are totally associated with this joint decision. We have worked a lot together since the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014 to put the Tour de Yorkshire at the top of the international cycling calendar. This work is obviously not wasted and we will collectively do our best to relaunch the event in 2022 and give the chance to the world’s best riders to be on the Yorkshire roads in front of one of the most enthusiastic audiences the cycling world has ever seen.”
The Tour de Yorkshire is of huge economic benefit to the county and its creation followed the success of the 2014 Tour de France’s Grand Départ in Yorkshire. This massively popular event attracted four million roadside spectators, with 188 countries broadcasting the race live contributing to £330m worth of media coverage, with the Grand Depart in Yorkshire trending worldwide on Twitter.
Subsequent Tour de Yorkshires from 2015 to 2019 have also been an incredible success for the county, boosting the economy and showcasing spectacular Yorkshire scenery across the globe. Benefits for the county during the Tour de Yorkshire have included record-breaking figures of 107.5m Twitter reach (2016), 2.6m spectators along the route and a £98m economic impact (2018), plus a TV audience of 28m in 190 countries (2019).