ORGANISERS of the hotly-anticipated Tour of Britain have explained more about the cancellation of Dorset's stage.
It was announced, shortly after 10.30pm on the day of the Queen's death (September 8), that the remaining stages would be cancelled "in light of operational circumstances".
The prestigious cycle race had been set to go across Dorset from West Bay to Ferndown on Saturday, September 10 with the final stage on the Isle of Wight the following day.
Whilst there's no confirmation as to whether the race will return to Dorset next year an announcement on the host regions is expected in February with a full route unveiled in April.
The decision to cancel the remaining stages prompted mixed reaction among readers - with many community events that had been planned for the day also cancelled.
Race organisers have now sought to add clarity to their decision to cancel - saying there was 'simply no way' of going ahead with the event.
For the route, 30 police motorcycle outriders and two command vehicles alongside additional local police support were required for each stage in order to keep riders, staff, officials and spectators safe.
These riders are recruited from forces across the country, rather than the areas hosting each stage, owing to 'an ever-decreasing pool' of officers available.
Many of these officers had to be redeployed as part of Operation London Bridge - the funeral plan for Queen Elizabeth II.
A spokesperson for the Tour of Britain said: "On Thursday evening, shortly after our initial 9pm statement publicising the cancellation of stage six in Gloucester (owing to the Friday being designated a national day of mourning), this police resource started to be recalled by the local forces, with some immediately travelling home.
"This was part of a specific and pre-determined plan that requires the use of police motorcycle resources over this period of national mourning, which began shortly after Her Majesty the Queen’s passing was announced and runs at least until the evening after her funeral has taken place on Monday 19 September.
"Owing to the withdrawal of many of the motorcycle officers and the team who manage the Central Escort Group on the race, it was not possible to continue with this very limited resource.
"Without the police escort, there is simply no way of managing and implementing the road closures required for the race to keep all of the riders, teams, officials, and spectators safe while on public roads.
"We would never organise and run an event that jeopardises the safety of anybody, hence why the decision was made shortly after 10.30pm on Thursday to cancel all remaining stages of the race."