Tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire is still hopeful the Tour de Yorkshire cycling event could return in the future.
The Tour de Yorkshire, a legacy event of the Tour de France Grand Depart which came to Holme Moss in 2014, was this week cancelled for the third successive year.
The race, originally due to take place in 2020, had been postponed until 2022 but that has now been scrapped too for “financial reasons.”
It had been planned that Stage 3 of the race – originally set for May 2 last year – would start in Barnsley and finish at St George’s Square in Huddersfield taking in Holmfirth, Meltham, Marsden, Slaithwaite and Scapegoat Hill.
The race was first staged in 2015 and this would have been the first time it had come through Huddersfield.
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive James Mason insisted there was still an appetite for the event to take place and he said: “I am not giving up on this.”
Mr Mason said his team would continue to talk to sponsors about getting the event back on in the future.
“The race is a much-loved international sports event which showcases Yorkshire across the globe,” he said. “So many people involved in the decision-making process understand just how popular the race is.
“We had every intention for the race to go ahead but unfortunately some of the circumstances were out of our control and sometimes you have to make big calls for the right reasons.”
There was disappointment at Kirklees Council where leader Shabir Pandor previously described the race as a “fantastic opportunity to showcase Huddersfield and Kirklees on a truly international stage.”
A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “This is really disappointing for Kirklees and the whole of Yorkshire. Tour de Yorkshire is an event we were really excited to be a part of and we know how much local people and visitors were looking forward to seeing the race come through Kirklees.
“However, with the challenges Covid-19 has presented and concerns around the financial viability of holding the event in 2022, we understand that this is the right decision and made for the right reasons. We remain hopeful about being a part of these huge events in the future. We will continue to talk with Welcome to Yorkshire about next steps.”
Kirklees councillor Martyn Bolt, a keen cyclist and organiser of the Huddersfield Criterium, another town centre cycling event, said he was “very disappointed, especially as I had only hours earlier had assurances from Clr Pandor that the council was fully behind the event, and other councils had also committed.
“It is a blow for the Kirklees tourist industry and a blow to local athletes who may have been riding on home ground,” he added.
“I hope the council will look to use the money already budgeted to support another cycle event such as the successful Huddersfield Criterium.”