The Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed the men's Tour de Yorkshire race will "grow from three to four days next year, with the women’s race increasing from one to two days," according to the PA. The '18 men's race will take place from May 3-6, with the women’s race scheduled for May 3-4. The extra days are a "major boost" for the organizers, Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation, which have been "lobbying for more time in the race calendar" since the men's event started in '15. Since that first edition -- which "built on Yorkshire's successful hosting of the start of the 2014 Tour de France" -- the races have "grown in popularity," with the first women's event taking place last year. An announcement on the venues for next year's starts and finishes is "expected in the coming weeks" (PA, 9/21). The BBC reported last year's event was watched by an estimated 2.2 million people and took place over three days, generating £64M for the local economy. The decision "means there will be eight start and finish destinations at next year's race" (BBC, 9/21).
Events and Attractions
The Matildas' "stunning form, the rise of gender equality" and football's "global charm" mean "a perfect storm is brewing for Australia to host a booming 2023 Women's World Cup," according to David Davutovic of the HERALD SUN. That is the view of Asian Cup CEO Michael Brown, who said that the women's tournament "would surpass the stunning success" of the '15 edition. Brown added that the Australian federal government's $1M ($793,200) feasibility pledge is "money well spent," with another A$4M ($3.2M) committed if Australia wins the FIFA vote. More than 650,000 fans attended the 16-team Asian Cup, but a 24-team Women's World Cup "could exceed that." Brown: "The government, FFA [Football Federation Australia] and A-League clubs should be doing everything, if you really want to make a mark on the world stage. At a time when gender equality in sport is becoming critical, what a fantastic opportunity for the country and governments to get behind the biggest sport in the world by hosting the Women's World Cup" (HERALD SUN, 9/21).
Cardiff, Wales, "could become one of the host cities for Euro 2020 with doubts over a new stadium being built in Brussels being ready on time." The FA of Wales "lost out in the original bidding process" in '14 when UEFA chose 13 cities across Europe to mark the 60th anniversary of the first European Championship. Concerns over Belgium's 60,000-seat Eurostadium project mean that "Cardiff is back in the running to stage matches" (PA, 9/20).
Police are "facing a challenge" after Wednesday's English Football League Cup draw set Tottenham and West Ham up for a midweek clash at Wembley Stadium. The Metropolitan Police will "liaise with both Premier League clubs ahead of the fourth-round tie," which will be played on Oct. 25 or Oct. 26. A "heavy security presence can be expected." Tottenham can "expect" to at least triple the crowd of 24,000 that went to watch the club beat League Championship side Barnsley (London DAILY MAIL, 9/20).
St. George's Park will host South Africa’s first day/night cricket test match when the Proteas play Zimbabwe over this year’s Boxing Day period. The test is "also slated to be the first four-day test match ever to be played in the history of the game." The test status of the match is, however, subject to Int'l Cricket Council approval at its meeting next month (HERALD LIVE, 9/21).
Britain’s Jockey Club announced the return of a £1M ($1.4M) Triple Crown bonus for the '17-18 season. The Jockey Club, which owns a number of leading racecourses, is "offering the windfall if any horse wins" the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park in November, the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March. The last horse to complete the hat-trick was Kauto Star in '05 (REUTERS, 9/21).