Citing low numbers of entrants, IMG UK, organiser of Etape Caledonia and other sporting events, has withdrawn as event organiser of the Sky-sponsored Etape Hibernia sportive in County Clare, Ireland, previously due to be staged in August.
The first Sky Ride Etape Hibernia was held in County Clare in August 2010. The event was organised by IMG UK in partnership with Shannon Development, Fáilte Ireland, the Shannon Region Conference and Sports Bureau, and Clare County Council.
A statement from IMG said:
"The company invested signficant resources and funds in launching the event. However, after recording losses in the first two years and the projection of a greater deficit in the future, they see the event as unsustainable. This was mainly due to not achieving the level of entries hoped for at the outset of the project."
Shannon Development and Clare County Council will continue to look at running the sportive, with existing entries transferring to the new organisers.
James Robinson, Managing Director of IMG Challenger World, said: “We are sad that we are unable to continue running the Etape Hibernia. Our team has really enjoyed working on the event over the past two years and have put a lot of hard work into trying to make the project a success.
"Although the event attracted a significant number of cyclists and their families to County Clare on the stunning west coast of Ireland, the number of participants was disappointing and didn’t reach projected levels. This, unfortunately, makes the event not commercially viable for IMG.”
The new-for-2012 Etape Pennines will continue to be organised by IMG UK. Two new sportives are due to be announced by IMG and the four events will become part of the Etape Series headlined by Marie Curie Cancer Care.