THE Tour de Yorkshire cycling race will NOT be going ahead next year, it was announced this evening.

Race organisers Welcome to Yorkshire said the decision was taken with regret and by mutual consent.

"The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with escalating financial challenges and uncertainties have led to an agreed position that the event would be unviable in 2022," it said.

It said the annual Tour de Yorkshire ran from 2015-2019, following the success of the 2014 Tour de France’s Grand Départ in the county, and planning for the 2020 race was in the final stages with all the host towns and cities having detailed plans in place before the race was postponed in late March 2020. The 2021 race was also subsequently postponed.

During this subsequent period Welcome to Yorkshire and A.S.O. (Amaury Sport Organisation) had continued to discuss bringing the race back to Yorkshire as soon as it was to be deemed safe and viable to do so.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive James Mason said: “This has been an intense period of back and forth discussions about the 2022 Tour de Yorkshire over many months. The race is a much-loved international sports event which showcases Yorkshire across the globe.

"So many people involved in the decision making process understand just how popular the race is. We had every intention for the race to go ahead but unfortunately some of the circumstances were out of our control and sometimes you have to make big calls for the right reasons.

"We still have ambitions for large events going forward to put Yorkshire on the world stage and we will continue to work with our partners to plan for those.”

Chair of Welcome to Yorkshire Peter Box said the last eighteen months had seen turbulent times for many businesses and for tourism, with financial restrictions which must be addressed and considered in all decision-making processes.

CEO of A.S.O. Yann Le Moenner said: "In 2014, Yorkshire offered the Tour de France one of the most memorable Grand Départ in its history. Hundreds of thousands of spectators came out to support the greatest riders, all of whom were taken aback by the enthusiastic support. Sporting success was also on the menu thanks to a route that seemed built for cycling.

"A strong relationship between the Tour de France and Yorkshire was born and was confirmed in the creation of a new annual event, the Tour de Yorkshire. For 7 years now our teams have been working towards the realisation of the event, which after 5 editions has become a real marker in cycling's spring season."

British Cycling Chief Executive Brian Facer said: “Clearly this is very disappointing news for everyone who recognises the value the Tour de Yorkshire brings to the county and to cycling in Britain. This is not just about the economic boost that top level bike racing has brought to Yorkshire, but also in the huge numbers of people who have been inspired to cycle themselves.

"The local authorities in Yorkshire have done a fantastic job over recent years and deserve credit for trying to find a way forward. We will continue to work with Welcome to Yorkshire and A.S.O. to secure major cycling events in the future.

"In the meantime, we know that Yorkshire remains passionate about cycling and we are working every day with our colleagues and partners to provide more opportunities for people from communities across the county to get on their bikes.”