A couple of years ago we wrote how selecting the Junior Tour starting field is one of the toughest jobs ever, thanks to having to say no to really good riders who’ve built their seasons around the race. Now we’ve found something that goes one further.
It’s with massive regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Junior Women’s Tour of Wales 2021.
While the men’s event is oversubscribed as usual, the women’s entry has been badly hit by the consequences of the pandemic. First with the travel restrictions wiping out the international teams we’d heard from. Then pulling some entries away via the rescheduling of other major races, and also by concentrating the season to a degree that some of the other entrants have picked up injuries and fatigue – as well as, in a couple of cases, COVID-19.
The result of all this was an entry far too small to make a viable, or safely manageable, race. And despite trying all avenues to find a way of maintaining it, today we’ve had to accept we’ve run out of road, and time. We knew that trying to put the race on this year – in the midst of the coronavirus mitigations – would be a risk, but at the same time, it would have been very wrong not to try our best.
We feel hugely sorry that the junior women, their parents and teams who’d committed to the race won’t now be able to fight it out on the best roads in the country. But we’re looking forward to seeing the first years back here in August 2022 – hopefully after a full racing season, and with plenty of international competition. We’re hoping to see the 2003 group back here soon, too. But more of that another time…
In the meantime, we have a full field of men who’ve never ridden a Junior Tour of Wales before – the first time that’s happened since the event’s very first edition in 1981. It’s going to be massive for them, and for us.