This yr’s Girls’s Tour is in critical hazard of being cancelled resulting from a £500,000 funding shortfall, Telegraph Sport understands.
The organisers, SweetSpot, on Thursday introduced the route for the five-day race, which has been operating since 2014 and broadly acclaimed by riders and groups as the most effective races on the ladies’s calendar.
Nevertheless, Telegraph Sport understands that the lack of sponsors together with Skoda, the race’s official automotive accomplice and mountain jersey sponsor, has left the way forward for the race unsure.
The race is scheduled this yr for June 7 to 11. Earlier winners embrace Marianne Vos in 2014 and Lizzie Deignan in 2016 and 2019.
Skoda, a accomplice of each the Girls’s Tour and the Tour of Britain courting again to 2011, is known to have exercised a break clause in its contract. The availability of vehicles is a significant factor of the race’s overheads. Excessive inflation has additionally had a big effect on prices similar to lodging.
SweetSpot admitted on Thursday that the race “urgently required further industrial earnings” for the 2023 version.
“In addition to the title sponsorship of the occasion, three of the race’s 4 prestigious jersey classifications (chief, mountains, and greatest younger rider) stay accessible, whereas particular person stage partnership packages (together with naming rights) have been launched for the primary time for chosen phases,” it mentioned in a press release. “The seek for an auto accomplice to produce automobiles additionally continues.”
The shortfall is known to be someplace within the area of £500,000, with a closing choice needing to be taken by mid-April. That is as a result of time wanted to organise groups, ebook resort rooms and liaise with police and businesses similar to Highways England.
Cancellation of the race could be an enormous blow to biking within the UK but additionally to ladies’s biking on the whole, with the Girls’s Tour having pushed laborious since its inception for gender equality. Up to now there was equal prize cash with the lads’s Tour of Britain.
The race additionally now has reside tv protection after a few years of highlights programmes solely. Mockingly, it’s understood that the reside protection is just not in jeopardy ought to the race ought to the race go forward.
This yr’s race is because of begin with a stage from Stratford-upon-Avon to Leamington Spa on Wednesday June 7. Stage two is from Northampton to Amptill. Stage three is the race’s Queen stage from Dalby Forest to Guisborough through the North York Moors.
The penultimate day is again within the Midlands, from Coleshill to Derby. The 2023 Girls’s Tour is because of end with a city-centre circuit race in Birmingham on Sunday June 11.
A spokesperson informed The Telegraph: “We’re assured of plugging that hole in funding, and we’re exploring all prospects.”