Hopes that La Route de France will return to the women’s cycling calendar this year have been dashed after a host community pulled out.
La Route de France Féminine was launched in 2006 as a successor to the Tour de France Féminin. However, it failed in trying to join the UCI Women's WorldTour, and was cancelled because its proposed dates clashed with the European Championships and other races based in Sweden.
The six-stage UCI 2.1 event was set to take place this year from June 5-10. But race organiser Hervé Gerardin has revealed that the department of Nièvre, which was due to post two stages, has pulled out.
"Having no alternative, I am forced within 7 weeks of the Grand Départ to make an urgent decision," Gerardin wrote on the race’s Facebook page. "It is with great bitterness that I made the decision this Sunday to cancel the 2018 edition of the Route de France Internationale Féminine.
"I can only regret this surprising attitude, which disrespects the other communities that have engaged in hosting this event, but also for the partners, the media, the teams, the providers and all the staff of the organization."
Gerardin added that he has pulled out of any future plans to organise races in women’s cycling.
"This cancellation will surely have in the days to come very important repercussions on the survival of the company but I can officially announce my final withdrawal in the world of international women's cycling," he concluded.