The Tour de Yorkshire will not return in its previous form after a breakdown in negotiations, but plans have been announced to launch a new-look event from 2024.
Talks between Silicon Dales, which bought the rights to the race after the collapse of Welcome To Yorkshire, and Tour de France owner the Amaury Sports Organisation failed to find an agreement for the return of the event which last ran in 2019.
But an agreement in principle has now been reached with SweetSpot, organisers of the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour, to deliver a new race in time for the 10-year anniversary of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in the region.
It is understood the new race is likely to be a one-day Classic-style event rather than a multi-day stage race – the men’s Tour de Yorkshire was a four-day race and the women’s a two-day event – but it is hoped it will carry the same UCI ranking.
The event – which will include both men’s and women’s editions of equal standing – will need a new identity as ASO owns the Tour de Yorkshire brand.
Silicon Dales, which acquired a number of Welcome To Yorkshire’s assets in an auction earlier this year, has reformed the tourism agency and will create a separate non-profit division to deliver cycling events in the region.
The company’s owner Robin Scott said: “We couldn’t have tried any harder to get 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 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 yet been finalised, but should see a number of races visit the region more regularly. That could see stages of both the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour take place in Yorkshire next year.
In combination with events such as the Tour Series, the hope is there will be more days of televised racing in the region than there had been previously, even without a four-day stage race.
“We expect Yorkshire to achieve the same number of televised cycling days in 2023 as in 2019,” Scott added.
“In 2024, we’re hoping to deliver a marquee event for the region which evokes a similar energy to the amazing 2014 Grand Depart we remember so fondly.”
— North Yorkshire CC (@northyorkscc) June 26, 2022
Further announcements are expected to be made when the Tour of Britain visits Yorkshire in September, with stage four of the race taking place between Redcar and Helmsley on September 7. That will be the first time the race has passed through Yorkshire since 2009.
SweetSpot chief executive Hugh Roberts said: “The very first edition of the modern Tour of Britain in 2004 had its roots in Yorkshire so we are delighted to be renewing our partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire for years to come, which can only benefit the whole cycling community in the region.”
The Tour de Yorkshire was launched in 2015 following the huge success of the Grand Depart.
But the 2020 edition was cancelled amid the pandemic, and it did not return as the previous incarnation of Welcome To Yorkshire faced mounting problems following the departure of former chief executive Sir Gary Verity.