Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will have to wait until September 2021 for the region’s Tour of Britain debut, with this year’s race delayed by 12 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The north-east had been set to welcome many of the world’s top riders for the final stage of the Tour on September 13.
Stonehaven, including the famous Cairn O’ Mount climb, had already been revealed as the start point for the Aberdeen-Aberdeenshire route, with the stage finishing in the city centre.
A Tour of Britain statement released this morning, said: “Following detailed consultations with British Cycling, regional stakeholders, sponsors and partners of the race, organisers of the Tour of Britain have decided to postpone the forthcoming edition of the Tour of Britain (6-13 September), with all parties in agreement on this course of action.
“The exciting route planned for September 2020, featuring a first ever visit to Cornwall and an overall finish in the city of Aberdeen, will instead take place in the race’s September 2021 position.
“The decision has been taken in light of the ongoing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, which makes continuing with the planning and organisation of the 2020 race impractical.
“Across the UK there are significant doubts around the potential to stage large-scale public events and gatherings such as the Tour of Britain as early as September and, while any form of social distancing remains in place and there isn’t a vaccine available, people’s health and safety must come first.”
The statement added: “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.”
2021’s Aberdeen-Aberdeenshire leg of the Tour of Britain is provisionally scheduled for September 12.
It is understood organisers are still working to confirm whether the grand depart from the north-east, originally scheduled to take place next year, can also be shifted back a year to 2022.