The company bidding to save the Tour de Yorkshire expects to have a clear idea on whether the plans can go ahead by the end of next week.
Silicon Dales managing director Robin Scott is due to meet with both British Cycling and the Amaury Sports Organisation, the Tour de France organisers who shared the contract for hosting the race with Welcome To Yorkshire, in the next seven days to discuss options.
Scott’s company bought the rights to the race earlier this month as part of a package of assets sold off after Welcome To Yorkshire went into administration, though Scott admitted at the time he did not know whether or not reviving the popular four-day race would be feasible.
Two weeks later, Scott – who took possession of the race’s trophies on Monday – said he had been hugely encouraged by the response his efforts have received.
A glimmer of hope is better than no hope; and "almost impossible" is not impossible.
Thank you for your support.https://t.co/KASwPJ5IiF
— Tour de Yorkshire 🚴 (@letouryorkshire) April 25, 2022
“We already knew the race was popular but we underestimated just how popular,” Scott told the PA news agency. “It’s been really encouraging. I’d say it was cautious optimism where last week it was probably cautious pessimism.”
The Tour de Yorkshire, a legacy event of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in the region in 2014, has not taken place since 2019. In 2020 and 2021 it was postponed amid the pandemic, while the 2022 race was called off due to financial concerns before the collapse of Welcome To Yorkshire.
Scott’s company had asked anyone interested in helping stage the race, including former employees and contractors, to get in touch, and he said he had received more than 1,000 responses in the past fortnight – and is now asking for patience for those awaiting a reply.
The size of the response has fuelled Scott’s growing optimism, though next week’s meeting with ASO will hold the key.
The expertise of the French company will be critical if the race is to have any chance of returning in 2023, though if that proves impossible, Scott is clear in his determination to have a race in 2024 on the 10th anniversary of that famous Grand Depart.
“At the end of next week we’ll know if it’s a non-starter or if there’s a chance we can do it in 2023,” he said. “We’ll know whether or not we can take it to the next level.”