The Tour de Yorkshire is the latest race to fall victim to the Covid-19 coronavirus, with organisers Welcome to Yorkshire and the ASO announcing today they've made the joint decision to postpone both the men's and women's races to help stop the spread of the potentially deadly disease.
Scheduled for April 30 through May 3, the 2.Pro men's race includes Greg Van Avermaet among its former winners. The two-day women's race was scheduled for May 1 and 2.
In a statement released Tuesday, organisers said the developing coronavirus pandemic means continuing the event as planned became untenable.
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"The event is one of the best supported races in the cycling calendar, but the safety of everyone involved, from the athletes to the spectators, must be the number one priority," organisers said. "Following consultation with stakeholders and sponsors Welcome to Yorkshire held in-depth and constructive discussions with both ASO and British Cycling [both TDY race partners], with all parties in agreement that this is the right and responsible course of action."
In reaching their decision, organisers considered the additional burden that large-scale events like the Tour de Yorkshire place on the emergency services and local authorities at a time when they have bigger priorities.
“The race is a great spectacle, but we all know that the health and well-being of everyone across the region, and the country, is frankly more important than a sporting event," said Peter Box, chairman of Welcome to Yorkshire. "Our attention now turns to supporting those tourism businesses across the region, many still reeling from the floods, during this unprecedented crisis.”
Organisers said they are working with the UCI to find alternative dates in the international cycling calendar for the race to take place. ASO also officially postponed Monuments Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Tuesday.
Yorkshire hosted the UCI Road World Championships in 2019.
The Tour de Yorkshire began in 2015 as a UCI 2.1 race won by Lars Petter Nordhaug of Team Sky. Other previous winners include Van Avermaet in 2018, Chris Lawless last year, Serge Pauwels in 2017 and Thomas Voekler in 2016. The women's race, won last year by Marianne Vos, started in 2016 and also includes Kirsten Wild, Lizzie Deignan and Megan Guarnier among its champions.