CYCLING’S Tour Series will not be returning to Colchester next year.

One stage of the annual international bike race had been held in the town since 2009 and it saw up to 15,000 spectators line the route to watch top cyclists compete for glory.

But last year, Colchester Council decided not to host the popular race, which takes in the whole of the town centre, because it could not afford the £75,000 cost.

Now, council bosses have said there are no plans to bring it back in 2015.

Will Bramhill, a spokesman for Colchester Cycling Campaign said he understood the authority’s finances were tight but said he hoped the Tour Series could still return in the future.

He added: “It is a shame because it put Colchester on the map.

“Anyone who is cheering it not coming is silly.

“It meant thousands of people were coming to Colchester and however many millions around the world were able to see Colchester town centre on TV.”

Iain Wicks, Essex Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses, added: “The event might have brought people to the town, but it caused chaos for town centre businesses, which saw very little benefit.”