THE mayor of Kendal has spoken of his disappointment that the Tour of Britain cycle race has been cancelled this year.

Alvin Finch said the annual race of world class cyclists - which was due to come to the town - would have been a huge boost for its struggling tourism trade.

The tour was expected to attract thousands of tourists and sponsors to Cumbria but due to safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic it was determined that the event could not be put on safely.

Kendal was due to host the fourth stage of the race.

“Obviously, we are very disappointed for the competitors and organisers but more so for our people in the tourism trade," said Councillor Finch.

“It brings a lot of money to the town and the area, so we are very sorry to lose that.

"Hopefully, we will prosper again and be back next year.

“We always hoped we would be able to go ahead with it, but that’s looking a bit sceptical.

"It would be nice to see this reversed but it all depends on how this terrible disease goes.

“We are all in the dark. We are all just trying to get on and manage the best we can considering the circumstances.

“It’s not just the Tour of Britain, it is also the festivals and shows that are trying to make decisions as well.

“Hopefully the financial burden will not be too hard for the organisers, and for other organisations.

“What I say to everyone is follow the guidelines, be aware, stay safe and save lives. We will get through this.”

Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “While it’s disappointing the Tour of Britain won’t be returning to Cumbria in September, we fully understand and support the reasons for postponing this year’s race.”

The event - due to take place between September 6 and 13 - was cancelled following discussions between British Cycling, regional stakeholders, sponsors, and partners of the race. The 2021 event is now planned for September 5-12, using the same route.