The Tour of Ireland which was supposed to take place on middle of August was cancelled due to sponsorship shortage. However, organizers of the Tour are hopeful that the event will push through in 2011.
The organizers issued a statement regarding the cancellation. “Despite significant commercial and public sector funding, current economic conditions have meant that the additional investment required to make the event viable has not been forthcoming in time for this season.” Alan Rushton, one of the organizers said, “We fully intend to bring it back for 2011 when the private sector environment is stronger.”
The Tour of Ireland made a comeback in 2007 through the Irish Tourism body Failte Ireland. Pat McQuaid, UCI President was saddened over the unfortunate turn of events. “I understand the situation because the economic situation in Ireland is very bad at the moment. I would hope that over the next 12 months that they might find another sponsor that can come on board. I know that there is genuine support from the government and companies like An Post that the event would continue.”
The Tour of Ireland was a five day event but was changed to three days for last year’s edition. This was due to an economic limitation. Lance Armstrong participated on that race while Russell Downing was the event’s victor and won himself a pro contract with Team Sky.
McQuaid shares how cycling shaped history and tradition in Ireland, making the race an important date in the Irish cycling calendar. “Cycling has a very strong history and tradition in Ireland and it deserves to have the best professionals in the world coming there at least once a year to take part in races and to show themselves to the Irish public. It’s not just important for Irish cycling, but also for European and world cycling. Every major international race in the national territory is important for the continuous development of the sport.”