Race organisers SweetSpot have said that they are aiming to secure live coverage and a sixth day of racing for the 2017 edition of Women’s Tour of Britain. The third running of the race will take place this June and organisers have already been pushing to expand the event’s reach.
“We would like live television, we don’t have it this year but we’re looking forward to that being the case in 2017. We would also like an extra day,” Race director Mick Bennett told Cyclingnews ahead of the announcement of the route for the men’s race. “We did apply for an extra day this year but we were unsuccessful given that there was an event in Spain on the preceding weekend to us starting on the Wednesday. Technically we couldn’t have got the teams across in time for when the permanence opened on the Tuesday morning.
“In terms of its progress, we want live television. We can’t have bigger or better teams because we already have the maximum teams we can run safely on the road. We would like an extra day provided it doesn’t restrict and conflict with racing on the preceding weekend.”
After holding its first race in 2014, the race has grown in status and is due to form part of the inaugural Women’s WorldTour. This year’s competition, which will run from June 15-19, is said to be the toughest yet with more climbing than the previous two editions. Live television coverage is the last major step to truly bring it in line with the men’s competition - which has been running since 2004 – an important factor for SweetSpot.
“I told the press in year one in Bury St Edmonds, that we intend in three years for this to be the biggest and the best women’s stage race in the world and I think that we achieved that last year in two years. This year we got WorldTour and we helped the UCI drawing up a preliminary set of regulations to become WorldTour and they came over to look at how we run it,” said Bennett.
“There is no difference to how we run it, from the facilities we provide, the transport, the look and feel, and the safety requirements. It is exactly the same as the men’s, albeit it is a little bit shorter. Everything else is exactly the same as the men’s.”