Naracoorte will not host the Great South Coast Cycling Classic due to cancellation

Sprint: Cam Scott raises his fist in triumph after winning a sprint to claim victory in the morning criterium at Naracoorte in 2019.
Sprint: Cam Scott raises his fist in triumph after winning a sprint to claim victory in the morning criterium at Naracoorte in 2019.

Border closures and COVID restrictions have brought to an end to plans for the Great South Coast Cycling Classic, which was due to take place across the Limestone Coast, including Naracoorte in late August.

The annual men's cycling event, which Naracoorte hosted part of in 2019, was due to take place across the Limestone Coast and Victoria in late August to early September, but organisers Caribou Publications announced this month that the race has been cancelled.

It is the second year it has been cancelled.

In a letter to the Naracoorte Lucindale Council from Caribou Publications director John Craven, it cites many reasons for the decision to cancel the 2021 race, including interstate border restrictions, financial constraints, and a lack of support from the Victorian government.

"South Australia's borders are closed to Victoria, New South Wales, the ACT, and parts of Queensland. If the race were to start tomorrow, we would be lucky to assemble a line-up of 20 riders," it said.

"Back in 2019 when the tour was last held, 75 per cent of our field came from those States and Territory."

Council CEO Trevor Smart said at a council meeting on Tuesday that it was disappointing that the race had been cancelled.

"The danger of it being called off this year is that we may not see the race again - once it goes into recess, that's two years in a row now so the event promoter may not continue that race," he said.

"That is not a good outcome for us or the other councils involved."

The event in Naracoorte in 2019 was hailed as a great success, bringing in at least 400 new people to the region, giving the town great international exposure and an estimated return on investment of between $142,224 to $152,320.

Councillors voted earlier this year to support a full day of racing in Naracoorte as part of the 2021 Tour of the Great South Coast Cycling Classic.

Naracoorte was expected to host stage four and five of the tour - The Naracoorte - Lucindale Criterium and the Naracoorte Team Time Trial.