SweetSpot Group, organisers of the Women’s Tour cycle race, have confirmed that the seventh edition of the UCI Women’s WorldTour event will now take place in June 2021.

This announcement follows the postponement of the 2020 race in mid-March owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As planned for June this year, the 2021 Women’s Tour will begin in Bicester, Oxfordshire and finish with a sixth and final stage in Suffolk, between Haverhill and Felixstowe.

Organisers have applied to the UCI for dates from Monday 7 to Saturday 12 June 2021. Final confirmation of the 2021 UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar is due in the coming weeks and the remaining details of the 2021 route will be announced in the Autumn.

In quotes

Hugh Roberts, from race organisers SweetSpot, said: “Following discussions with stakeholders and sponsors, as well as British Cycling and the UCI, we have decided to work towards June 2021 for the next edition of the Women’s Tour, and will not seek to re-arrange the race later in 2020.

“We recognise the unprecedented nature of the current global situation and the challenges for the UCI calendar and so wanted to take an early decision not to look for an alternative 2020 date.

“With the extra time now available we look forward to making next year’s Women’s Tour even bigger and better than before and a fantastic celebration of cycling and Britain.

“We are now working with partners on our plans for the Women’s Tour to be live streamed for the first time in 2021 and are also exploring opportunities to bring the race closer to our fans than ever before in these challenging times, such as the opportunity to race and ride past stages on their home trainer.”

Cllr James Reeder, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention, said: “I know there’s been plenty of discussion and planning with all Suffolk event partners following the organisers’ recent message about postponing the event in 2020 and looking for an alternative date this year. I think the organisers have made the right decision as we all continue to concentrate on getting through the changing times we face at present and staying safe at home during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“I am really pleased that we now have a provisional date to work towards for next year and I’m sure, like many other public events around the country that have had to step back this year, the 2021 Women’s Tour will be an event to remember. We certainly look forward to seeing the world class racers visit us in Suffolk and show off our great county to a world-wide audience.”

Cllr Letitia Smith, cabinet member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism from East Suffolk Council, said: “We completely support the decision to postpone the Women’s Tour until 2021. This is a challenging time, and it goes without saying that the health of participants, spectators and – of course – people in general remains the number one priority right now. 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.”