THE Tour de Yorkshire will not go ahead as planned next year it has been announced.

Welcome to Yorkshire said earlier this evening that following 'lengthy discussions' with fellow race organisers, the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) the four day event, which was to have taken place at the end of April and start of May, will now not take place.

It said 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.

Earlier this month, Craven District Council agreed to underwrite the event, which would have seen Skipton used as a host town, by up to £100,000.

Welcome to Yorkshire said it would like to acknowledge the important and much appreciated ongoing support from its local authority partners, as well as the support of the Mayor of South Yorkshire, Dan Jarvis, and the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, together with A.S.O. and British Cycling.

James Mason, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, 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."

He added: "People from Yorkshire are proud and we only want the best for the county. 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.”

Peter Box, chair of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Whilst the news about the Tour de Yorkshire will be disappointing to hear for many, it’s important for Welcome to Yorkshire to now focus on imminent events and to continue planning for future annual campaigns, similar to 2021’s acclaimed ‘Walkshire’, promoting the whole of the county every day of the year.

"The last 18 months have seen turbulent times for many businesses and for tourism, with financial restrictions which must be addressed and considered in all decision-making processes.

"The ongoing support of Welcome to Yorkshire’s partners across the county is gratefully acknowledged and we look forward to continuing working together going forward.

"The organisation has shown immense creativity, skill and expertise at arranging and hosting a wide-range of award-winning events in the past and it will continue to do so.”

Yann Le Moenner, chief executive officer of ASO, 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 seven years now our teams have been working towards the realisation of the event, which after five editions has become a real marker in cycling's spring season.

"After two back-to-back cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic hitting in early 2020, and considering economic factors, some of which result from it, it has been decided by mutual agreement that the Tour de Yorkshire will not be organised in 2022.

"Whatever the case, the Tour de France and ASO will always remain close to Yorkshire because of the fantastic Grand Départ in 2014 and 5 successful editions of the Tour de Yorkshire which deserve a follow-up.”

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 ASO 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.”