The organisers of the Tour de Yorkshire have been denied their request to expand to four days by British Cycling. The Tour de Yorkshire, which is backed by Tour de France organisers ASO, was created off the back of the Tour Grand Depart. The race was also denied its request to step up to HC level, the second-highest status in the UCI race rankings.
It held its first edition in the opening week of May this season and took place over three stages. The race was won by Team Sky’s Lars Petter Nordhaug after he took victory on the opening stage.
"We’ve nothing but the highest regard for British Cycling with all that they have achieved over the last few years, including their record in delivering Great Britain cycling medals. However, we are disappointed by the decision of the British Cycling Board not to support our plans for expansion of the Tour de Yorkshire next year," Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Gary Verity said in a press release.
"Following the great success of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire we have had huge support for our plans to grow the 2016 race, from professional cycling teams, broadcasters, Local Authorities, the people of Yorkshire and even the Prime Minister... We will continue to try to persuade the British Cycling Board to change their minds.
"We’re hugely excited about next year’s race and are looking forward to announcing the start and finish locations next month. In the meantime, we will continue to support the work of British Cycling in Yorkshire."
In addition to expanding the race, organisers are also looking to step up to the WorldTour level in the future – it is currently ranked 2.1 by the UCI. The organisers also have plans in the mix to bring the World Championships to the region as early as 2018. The Tour de Yorkshire is one of two major men’s stage races in the UK, with the Tour of Britain taking place in early September.
Cyclingnews has contacted British Cycling, who said, "The board revisited the previous classification decision and reviewed the duration increase request in detail but concluded that the event should remain at three days and with 2.1 classification for 2016.
"The board wanted to stress they were encouraged by the initial success of the Tour de Yorkshire but four months after the inaugural event is too soon for the meaningful analysis needed to reframe a four-year agreement. All the signs are that the Tour de Yorkshire will be successful but more evidence is required before an informed judgement can be made.
"This format was agreed in the contract signed with Welcome to Yorkshire and was the basis upon which the event was approved as part of a balanced international racing calendar which ensures people across Britain have a chance to see world-class cycling on our roads. The Tour de Yorkshire’s place in the international cycling calendar is much-coveted in this country and abroad, and we have a responsibility to ensure the best return possible for the sport."