Tour de Yorkshire postponed due to coronavirus

The sixth annual edition of the Tour de Yorkshire, scheduled for April 30 to May 3, has been postponed due to the coronavirus.

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 5:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 6:28 pm
Tour de Yorkshire 2019 stage 4 starts at the Piece Hall, Halifax. (Picture: Jim Fitton)

The race is the latest high-profile sporting event to be shelved due to the global pandemic.

Organisers had initially held off making a decision but bowed yesterday to the inevitability of the situation, with nearly every major sport and sporting event scheduled for the next two months, now shelved.

Welcome to Yorkshire ay they are working with British Cycling and co-organisers the Amaury Sports Organisation to find alternative dates later in the year.

Chris Froome, Team Ineos, in Leeds. 5 May 2019. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

The sixth edition of the race is set to start in Beverley on Thursday April 30 and finish in Leeds on Sunday May 3.

A statement released by joint race organisers Welcome to Yorkshire, read: “As part of the fight against the spread of Coronavirus (COVID19), Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) have made the joint decision to postpone the 2020 Tour de Yorkshire.

“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.

“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.

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 4, Halifax to Leeds. Ian Stannard of Team INEOS drives the peloton. (Picture: SWPix.com)

“The sixth edition of the annual cycle race was scheduled to take place between 30th April and 3rd May 2020 but the developing situation with regards to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) means continuing with the event as planned simply became untenable.

“A key factor in the decision-making process was the consideration of the additional burden that such a large-scale event places on the emergency services and local authority partners, at a time when their priorities are rightly elsewhere. It is important to reiterate that the overriding concern for all partners involved is the health and safety of the public at this time.

“Welcome to Yorkshire, ASO and British Cycling are working with the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) to find alternative dates in the international cycling calendar for the race to take place.

“Welcome to Yorkshire understands the impact that postponing the race will have on the tourism industry across the region. This early decision gives us the opportunity to focus our efforts on how we can support businesses at this time and continue to promote the region as a destination to visit going forward.”

Peter Box CBE, Chair of Welcome to Yorkshire added: “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. Our attention now turns to supporting those tourism businesses across the region, many still reeling from the floods, during this unprecedented crisis.”