Tour of Britain postponed until September 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic

The Tour of Britain 2020 has officially been postponed.

The UK's biggest road cycling race was scheduled to return to Cumbria for the third consecutive year, but the coronavirus pandemic has put the brakes on plans for now.

The route set to take place between 6-13 September 2020 will instead take place in September 2021.

Organisers say the decision was made due to the current outbreak, which makes planning this year's race with local authorities - who are under 'considerable pressure' - impractical.

Tour of Britain in action at Ullswater, in the Lake District, in 2016. Credit: PA

A spokesperson said: "Holding the Tour of Britain behind closed doors or with extensive social distancing rules would not only be immensely impractical, but would rob our venues and spectators of these opportunities and go against everything that cycling, as a free-to-spectate and accessible event, stands for.

"By moving this year’s planned route to September 2021 our venues and partners will be able to enjoy a full 12-month build up to the race and once conditions allow we look forward to engaging communities across all eight stages.

"In the meantime we will be working with our local authority partners to explore the ways in which the Tour of Britain and its planned venues can still be celebrated this September and look forward to announcing those plans in due course.

"We would like to thank all of our stakeholders, partners and fans for their understanding and patience, and look forward to bringing the Tour of Britain back bigger and better than ever in September 2021.

"The provisional dates for the 2021 Tour of Britain are 5 – 12 September and will be confirmed in the coming months by the sport’s governing body the UCI.

"The full route for the race, which had already announced as visiting Devon, Warrington and Cumbria during its eight stages, will be announced later in the year."

The peloton passes through Brough, Cumbria, during stage four of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain in 2019. Credit: PA

Cumbria County Council agree with the decision, Councillor Keith Little said: “While it’s disappointing the Tour of Britain won’t be returning to Cumbria in September, we fully understand and support the reasons for postponing this year’s race.

"The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents must be our number one priority.