Friday, 06 August 2021

Challenge organisers keeping options open

THE organisers of the Challenge Henley triathlon will make an announcement on the race’s future next month.

THE organisers of the Challenge Henley triathlon will make an announcement on the race’s future next month.

Last week, the Henley Standard reported that organisers were considering alternative venues following criticism over road closures at this year’s event.

In a statement released last Friday, Just Racing, who organise Challenge Henley confirmed an announcement on the race’s future would be made in early October.

Alan Rose, Challenge Henley race director, said: “An event of this size or with this ambition requires a large investment in capital and the support of the local community. Both of these factors necessitate a long-term plan.

“Our vision from the outset has always been that we have a premier location, with a premier local authority with partners who would share our excitement and passion to deliver this international event.

“With Henley-on-Thames having a great sporting reputation, the experience of large-scale events and iconic courses on its doorstep — the River Thames, the Chiltern Hills, the Thames Path and of course, Henley itself — it seemed the ideal location to represent Challenge in the UK.

“We also felt we would be able to add value to the town as we grew the event, and of course, the number of visitations during both event week and throughout the year as individuals, groups and families visited the area to train on the courses and experience everything the area had to offer.

“Whilst the support on the streets of Henley was phenomenal in 2013, sadly certain elements of the town and two of the area’s elected representatives have made it extremely difficult for myself and my staff to deliver the event. We are currently considering all of our options for 2014.”

Henley MP John Howell chaired a meeting on Wednesday to gather views of residents on this year’s event and determine the best way forward. No representatives from Just Racing were present.

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