A CONTROVERSIAL bike race will not be making a return to Worcestershire in 2019.

The Velo Birmingham ride gained notoriety when it was last held in the county after furious residents, workers and businesses complained about enforced road closures and disruption.

Last year the organisers of the race, CSM Active, approached Worcestershire County Council asking if it could bring the event back to the county, with plans to return to areas like Great Witley, Ombersley, Droitwich and Cutnall Green. But the company later dropped the request before it could be discussed by Worcestershire County Council cabinet members.

It now appears certain the race wont be back this year as Velo Birmingham has published details of the 2019 race with a route plan showing it is not heading to the county, instead going east to Coventry.

Around 17,000 riders are expected to race the 100 mile closed road route when the race is held on Sunday, May 12, with general entries already sold out.

Velo Birmingham: Controversial race passes through Worcestershire

County councillor Dr Ken Pollock, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: “It was a contentious issue - I was in the minority in that I wanted it to come back. In 2017 it was seen across the country and across the world - that is exposure to an international audience.

“And 85 per cent (of participants) were men around 45-years-old, who had the equipment and time to do the training. It is a good target audience.

“But the organisers knew it would not be welcome.”

Cllr Pollock added that the Velo Birmingham route may lead to road races for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, so each year the county is not involved will lower the chances of Worcestershire hosting races.

Some opponents reportedly scattered nails and razorblades along the Worcestershire section of the 2017 race, which the organisers described at the time as “pretty appalling”.

No one from CSM Active was available to comment on the route.