Further to Thursday evening’s cancellation of the final three stages of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain, we wanted to provide more information to our fans to better understand the situation following the passing of Her Majesty the Queen.

We are sure that all cycling enthusiasts are aware of the sizeable police resource that a professional road race uses in order to keep the riders, staff, officials and spectators safe. In regards to the AJ Bell Tour of Britain 2022, this amounted to 30 police motorcycle outriders, plus two police command vehicles and then additional local support, depending on the stage.

Those motorcycle outriders are highly-specialist officers and are drawn from many forces around the country. There is an ever-decreasing pool among the police of these highly trained officers with this expertise, hence why they are recruited from forces covering all corners of Great Britain and not just areas hosting the race.

Naturally, given their skillset, when they are not working on our event or other cycle races, they are used extensively for things such as escorting politicians, heads of state, members of the Royal Family and so on.

On Thursday evening, shortly after our initial 9pm statement publicising the cancellation of stage six in Gloucester (owing to the Friday being designated a national day of mourning), this police resource started to be recalled by the local forces, with some immediately travelling home.

This was part of a specific and pre-determined plan that requires the use of police motorcycle resources over this period of national mourning, which began shortly after Her Majesty the Queen’s passing was announced and runs at least until the evening after her funeral has taken place on Monday 19 September.

Owing to the withdrawal of many of the motorcycle officers and the team who manage the Central Escort Group on the race, it was not possible to continue with this very limited resource.

Without the police escort, there is simply no way of managing and implementing the road closures required for the race to keep all of the riders, teams, officials, and spectators safe while on public roads. We would never organise and run an event that jeopardises the safety of anybody, hence why the decision was made shortly after 10:30pm on Thursday to cancel all remaining stages of the race.

Road cycling is very fortunate to be allowed to take place in public space and we are privileged to be able to take the AJ Bell Tour of Britain through the heart of this country’s most beautiful areas and through countless towns, cities and communities. However, the cost of this is the extensive management of road closures required, something that other stadium-based sports and events do not need. This is one of the reasons why many sports could choose to resume on Saturday or Sunday.

We hope that this gives our fans a better insight and understanding of the reasons behind the cancellation of the final three stages of this year’s race. We would like to thank everyone for their support and understanding at this time.