Women’s Tour launches crowdfunding campaign to plug financial gap
The five-day race is looking for £100,000 as it continues to hunt for additional sponsors.
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After issuing a plea for additional sponsors earlier this month, the Women’s Tour has set up a crowdfunding campaign as it looks to plug a financial gap for this year’s race.
When unveiling the shortened five-day route last week for the 2023 edition, organizer SweetSpot said it was still searching for a title backer, as well as sponsors for three of its four race jerseys.
On Thursday evening the race launched a GoFundMe page with a target of raising £100,000 ($121,000). In the first 24 hours, the campaign has raised just over £3,000.
“We have witnessed fans make a significant impact on elite cycling events from a commercial and emotional perspective in similar campaigns,” Women’s Tour PR and digital manager Nick Bull said. “Having been inundated with messages from people wishing to show their support for the race over the past week, launching a crowdfunding campaign seemed the logical thing to do. We’ve been blown away by their kind words and everybody associated with the race thanks them for their continued support.”
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The organizers have promised to refund donations to people should the event not go ahead in July.
This year’s race is due to begin in Stratford-upon-Avon — the home of William Shakespeare — on Wednesday, June 7. The race will then head south toward Northampton before going north to the Dalby Forrest, before going to the midlands for the final two stages with a last-day city center circuit race in Birmingham.
The Women’s Tour has been a regular fixture since 2014, initially starting as a five-day race before it added a sixth stage for the 2019 edition. The 2020 event didn’t go ahead due to restrictions in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, while the 2021 race was postponed until October.
Last year’s event was the first to feature live coverage after new sponsor Cottages.com providing the funding for the broadcasts.
Two-time former champion Lizzie Deignan is planning to ride the race when she returns to competitive action later this month — after giving birth to her second child.
“It will be a huge loss in terms of the opportunity for British teams to have a stage like that to race on, but also internationally. It’s a really important race because June doesn’t have many stage races, so it’s brilliant preparation ahead of the national championships and the Tour de France,” Deignan told the Press Association news agency.
“The way the race is run is extremely professional and it’s probably been the most professional race we’ve had on the calendar. “[The Women’s Tour] is what’s been in my mind during training rides. If it goes, I need to rethink my whole calendar.”