Women's Tour race organisers still waiting on 2021 dates

Jolien D'Hoore wins the first stage of the OVO energy Women's Tour 2018 in Southwold

The Women's Tour cycling race is still set to come to Suffolk this year - Credit: NICK BUTCHER

Organisers of the Women’s Tour cycling race are hoping to announce in the next few months if the elite racing event - set for a big finish in Suffolk - can go ahead this year.

SweetSpot Group said the exciting six-stage race would not now take place from June 7-12 as planned because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

But SweetSpot is working with the UCI and British Cycling to re-arrange the Women’s Tour for later in 2021 and have requested alternate race dates of Monday, October 4 to Saturday, October 9 from the sport’s governing body.

A spokesman for the event said it hopes to confirm the new dates and full routes of all the stages in the summer

Suffolk is set to host the 2021 Women's Tour final stage

The launch of the 2020 Women's Tour plans for a big finish in Suffolk at the Port of Felixstowe - the race will now take place this October - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Women’s Tour, which forms a part of the prestigious UCI Women’s WorldTour, will finish with a stage from Haverhill to Felixstowe.

The final moments are expected to focus on the Port of Felixstowe as it welcomes the racers to Britain's premier container port.

Council chiefs reckon the race, which has regularly featured a Suffolk stage over the past six years and is a huge attraction, brings a £1million boost for the county's economy.

James Reeder, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for public health and prevention, said: “While it is disappointing to hear that the race has been postponed until later in the year, I can completely understand why this decision has been taken by the race organiser SweetSpot.

The Wiggle High5 team at the start of the Aviva Women's Tour in Southwold 2016

Top women's cyclist are set to race again through Suffolk this year - Credit: SIMON PARKER

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“The council fully supports their decision given the challenging situation with coronavirus in the UK at present.

"The health and safety of all communities, competitors and partners involved in a such well-attended public event must be the priority and we look forward to putting on a fantastic spectacle with SweetSpot and all our partners later in the year.”

Letitia Smith, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for communities, tourism and leisure, added: “We completely support the decision to postpone the Women’s Tour until later in the year.

Women's Tour 2021 announces prospective dates for autumn

SweetSpot is hopeful that the Women's Tour 2021 race can take place in the autumn - Credit: SIMON PARKER

"This continues to be a challenging time, and it goes without saying that the health and wellbeing of participants, spectators and – of course – people in general remains the number one priority.

"This will give us something to look forward to, and no doubt all our local communities and businesses will be as supportive and celebratory as ever, if not more.”

Jolien D'Hoore wins the first stage of the OVO energy Women's Tour in Southwold 2016

Suffolk can again look forward to some top-class elite women's cycle racing - Credit: NICK BUTCHER

Women’s Tour race director Mick Bennett said: “We are obviously disappointed to be postponing the Women’s Tour from June but hope that by aiming to stage the race in October we can give the teams and public something to look forward to at the tail end of the summer.”