Organisers of Australia’s oldest stage cycling race have announced the event will not proceed in 2021.
Instead both the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and Women’s Herald Sun Tour will be rescheduled to Feburary 2022, due to the uncertainty and unpredictability caused by the impact of COVID-19.
Jayco Herald Sun Tour chairman Tom Salom said the difficult decision was made after much consideration.
“As Australia’s oldest cycling stage race, we have not taken this decision lightly, however the high level of uncertainty created by the current COVID-19 environment in Victoria presents too many challenges to proceed with the 2021 events,” Mr Salom said.
“We appreciate the support of Visit Victoria and Cycling Australia, who understand the rationale behind our decision and have indicated their continued support for both events, and for the return of the events to the cycling calendar in 2022.”
Mr Salom said while the decision was made with a heavy heart, the silver lining was that the delay would provide the time and resources to plan for a bigger and better Tour in 2022.
He underlined the importance of the events continuing to support Regional tourism in the future.
“It is critically important for both cycling and regional Victoria that we deliver a high quality Jayco Herald Sun Tour for years to come”, he said.
The Herald Sun Tour is held in Melbourne and provincial Victoria, sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale. The first tour was held in October 1952 as a six-day event and is now held annually over five days in February.
Owner of Jayco and long-time supporter of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour Gerry Ryan said “It’s certainly disappointing for everyone involved; the riders, the officials and the public. We look forward to coming back bigger, better and stronger in 2022”
Mr Salom said organisers were heartened to know that by making this decision now, sponsorship funding and other support that had been allocated to the events might be re-directed to communities, businesses and causes severely impacted by COVID-19.
“We thank all sponsors, teams, riders, officials and fans for their loyal and ongoing support of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and Women’s Herald Sun Tour, and we look forward to returning in 2022.”