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Tour of Britain postponed until next year due to coronavirus and calendar clash

Joseph Delves
14 May 2020

Covid-19 and possible clash with the Tour de France put paid to the British stage race

The 2020 Tour of Britain will be postponed until next year. The race had been scheduled to take place over 6th to 13th September. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has now made planning and organisation of the 2020 race impossible, a further blow to racing in the UK following the cancellations of the Tour de Yorkshire and the Women's Tour.

Taking place towards the tail end of the season, it had been hoped the race might still go ahead. This was despite ASO intending to hold a postponed Tour de France over the same dates.

Given the current conditions, the race's organiser SweetSpot Group has now decided to postpone the race until next year.

'Following detailed consultations with British Cycling, regional stakeholders, sponsors and partners of the race, organisers of the Tour of Britain have decided to postpone the forthcoming edition of the Tour of Britain, with all parties in agreement on this course of action,' explained a statement released today.

'Holding the Tour of Britain behind closed doors or with extensive social distancing rules would not only be immensely impractical but would rob our venues and spectators of these opportunities and go against everything that cycling, as a free-to-spectate and accessible event, stands for.'

This year’s eight-day race had been planned to follow a route from Penzance in Cornwall to Aberdeen. With the provisional stops for 2021 also announced, both races will move back one year. Hence this is a postponement rather than simply a cancellation of 2020's race.

The provisional dates for the 2021 Tour of Britain are now 5th to 12th September, subject to confirmation by the UCI.

Giving host locations 12 months to prepare, postponing the 2020 event will have the second benefit of avoiding a potential clash with the Tour de France. At the same time, the now postponed Olympics should have been concluded almost a month before the first stage begins.

Relaunched in 2004, since 2014 the race has been rated 2.HC by the UCI. This year the event was also due to become part of the new UCI ProSeries.

In recent years the race has done well in attracting a strong field, with superstar riders Julian Alaphilippe winning in 2018 followed by Mathieu van der Poel in 2019.