Western Morning News

Changing Tour of Britain ‘not an option’

- BY DANIEL CLARK daniel.clark@reachplc.com

ORGANISERS of the Tour of Britain are still hopeful that the 2020 race can go ahead as scheduled in September.

The eight-day cycle race is set to begin in Cornwall on September 6 with a stage between Penzance and Bodmin, with the second stage in Devon the following day between Sherford and Exeter.

Last week, the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, released a revised 2020 season calendar which would, coronaviru­s permitting, see the Tour de France run from August 29 to September 20, clashing with the UK race.

But Hugh Roberts, CEO of promoter SweetSpot, said that the new dates for the Tour de France don’t affect their plans and they are cautiously continuing to plan for the race taking place.

In a statement sent to Cyclingnew­s, Roberts said: “There are no plans to change the date for the Tour of Britain. We are still working towards putting the race on in September but are mindful that this will only be possible if the wider situation allows us to.

“We have in our minds’ eye the third week of July – if we weren’t in a clearer position by then we would have to seriously consider our options, one of which would be to not run it at all.

“Postponing is not really an option.”

He added: “The stance we are adopting is that if the virus is behind us and if that happens to coincide with the Tour of Britain, it will bring a lot of joy to a lot of people.

“We will follow all public health and government guidance and err on the side of caution.”

The opening stage is set to see riders travel 170 kilometres through the Cornish countrysid­e, starting in Penzance and ending in Bodmin. The stage’s route will also visit St Just, St Ives, Hayle, Camborne, Pool, Redruth, Falmouth, Penryn, Truro, Newquay and St Austell, in what would be the race’s first ever visit to Cornwall.

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