SKIPTON Town Centre Cycle Races will not go ahead this year because of a lack of financial support and resources.

Craven District Council, which has run the event for four years running in July attracting world-class cyclists, and thousands of spectators, said it had never envisaged running it on a permanent basis.

It says it lost its main sponsor this year and an attempt to get Skipton Town Council to take over the organisation was not successful.

Paul Shevlin, chief executive of Craven District Council, said: “The Skipton town centre cycling races were introduced in 2015 as part of our legacy plan following the Tour de France.

“We hoped to demonstrate Skipton could successfully host a town centre cycle race. We held four excellent events, attracting some of the world’s top riders, and following the first year the race was then included in the HSBC UK National Circuit Series, and televised.”

Last year’s event was sponsored for the second year by Horton Housing.

Mr Shevlin added: “The costs of organising and hosting the race have always been covered by sponsorship as well as support from Skipton Business Improvement District (BID) and Skipton Town Council. We also needed to be mindful that our long term plan did not envisage that the council would organise this event every year due to the resources needed to run a successful event, and for 2019 we had lost our headline sponsor.

“Having demonstrated that the race could be successfully held, we then sought support from Skipton Town Council to see if they wanted to run the event in the future, but unfortunately they were not able to do so.”

He said: “We are sorry that we are no longer able to hold this race in Skipton, but we look forward to welcoming many other exciting cycling events including the UCL Road World Championships in September, and potentially the Tour de Yorkshire in future years.”

Dave Parker, chief officer of Skipton Town Council, said: “The town council’s events team has provided some support to the Town Centre Cycle Races over the last two years – but members felt we were not in a position to take on the full management of the event with the associated financial commitment.”

He added: “The own Council will continue to support the Tour de Yorkshire and the UCI World Championships in September – alongside the substantial number of other events we provide or help to facilitate each year.”

The UCI World Championships will take place from September 22 to September 29 and will be based in Harrogate, coming into the Dales on September 26 and September 29.