Tour of Toowoomba in surprise cancellation for 2016

THE Darling Downs sport calendar has lost a signature event with news this year's FKG Tour of Toowoomba has been cancelled.

The seventh staging of the tour was scheduled to run from April 28 to May 1.

National Cycling websites reported the opening National Road Series event of the season "will be put on ice this year" with plans for it to return "bigger and better next year".

Toowoomba Cycling Development Limited (TCD) president Mac Stirling confirmed to CyclingTips the four-day, five-stage race won't run this year due to financial pressure.

Stirling heads the board of TCD - the registered not-for-profit company that runs the Tour of Toowoomba.

"We're a little bit of a victim of our own success," Stirling said.

"The race has certainly grown quickly and the cost of running the event in terms of compliance and police and crowd control has grown.

"In consultation with our key stakeholders FK Gardiner; obviously Toowoomba Regional Council, Tourism and Events Queensland - we felt the best thing was to put it on ice this year and plan towards [being] bigger and better for next year."

Stirling said the decision to postpone the race - while difficult - was necessary for its longevity.

"We recognise the position the tour has as being perhaps one of the more successful NRS events on the calendar, and one which the riders and promoters want to be at," Stirling said.

"But we thought 'If we stuff it up, then it's going to be even more difficult to get it happening again in 2017'."

The Tour of Toowoomba was launched in 2010.

It began as a three-day, four-stage event and remains Queensland's only event on the NRS circuit.

The tour expanded to four days and five stages in 2012.

The four opening races on Darling Downs, Lockyer Valley and South Burnett roads culminated in the event's signature Queens Park criterium which rounded out the event on Sunday afternoon.

It has been lauded by riders and team managers as one of the marquee events in the NRS which in 2015 hosted 10 events across Australia.

This year's Adelaide Tour, normally run in April, has also been cancelled for 2016.

Stirling said a statement will be issued by TCD outlining future plans for the Tour of Toowoomba.

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