The announcement had the effect of a crushing blow: the 2023 edition of the Women’s Tour, a stage cycling race initially scheduled in Great Britain from June 7 to 11, will not take place. “Due to a combination of increased running costs and a reduced level of commercial support, it proved impossible to stage the event”explained SweetSpot, the company promoting this event of the women’s World Tour circuit – the elite division of road cycling – in a press release, Friday, March 31. Organizational costs jumped 20% compared to 2022 and some 500,000 pounds sterling (570,000 euros) were still missing from the envelope, details the text.
The decision to cancel the appointment comes after months of research. The Women’s Tour has lost this year one of its main partners, the car manufacturer Skoda, and three of its four distinctive jerseys – that given to the leader of the general classification, that of the mountain classification, and that of the best young – was also unsponsored. Individual partnership formulas, including rights of naming (name), had even been launched for certain stages – a first.
SweetSpot ended up relying on crowdfunding. But although relatively publicized, the GoFundMe campaign failed to raise the expected £100,000; depending on the website Bicyclingonly 18,000 pounds would have been harvested.
Price equality and media coverage
The removal of the Women’s Tour from the 2023 calendar is a blow for women’s cycling. The event, which is one of the peloton’s favorite meetings, was also emblematic of the fight for more equality in the discipline, since its inauguration in 2014.
Among its battle horses: price parity – SweetSpot is also promoter of the men’s Tour of Britain (September 3-10). A parity that financial difficulties had already undermined last year, but the organizer had then expressed his will “absolute” to restore it as soon as possible
The race also led the battle for audiovisual and media coverage. After many years where only his highlights were broadcast, it was broadcast live on Eurosport Player and GC+, in 2022.
The Women’s Tour has a prestigious list of former winners, including Dutch Marianne Vos (2014), Italian Elisa Longo Borghini (2022) and Briton Lizzie Deigan, the only double winner to date (2016 and 2019).
The press release of March 31 mentions “a hiatus” a year and SweetSpot keeps the hope of a return next year to celebrate its 10 years of existence. The 2024 edition, whose big departure is planned for Wales, is already in preparation.
Source: Le Monde