Three internationally recognized women's cycling events, two in Montreal and one in P.E.I., have been cancelled.

The Canadian Cycling Association said the cancellations announced Thursday were due to the retirement of the event organizer.

"It would not be economically and administratively feasible to keep the events on the calendar," the CCA said in a news release.

The cancelled events are:

  • Montréal Women's World Cup (May 29).
  • The Tour de Grand Montréal (May 31 to June 3).
  • The Tour de PEI (June 6 to 10).

The Montréal Women's World Cup is the oldest of the races, first run in 1998, and is the only Women's World Cup in North America in recent years. The Tour de Grand Montréal has been run for eight years and is the largest women's Union Cycliste Internationale stage race event in North America.

The Tour de PEI has taken place for three years, featuring five stages around the Island for the world's top female road cyclists.

The CCA expressed its disappointment that it has had to cancel the events.

Officials with Strait Crossing Bridge Ltd., the main sponsor of last year's Tour de PEI, said their three-year sponorship deal had run out and they weren't ready to commit to the same level of funding.

Mike Connolly, the executive director of Cycling PEI, is disappointed to lose the event.

"It has raised the profile of cycling across the Maritimes, including eastern Canada," Connolly said. "It has really raised the interest of cycling among kids, especially women, young girls ... and it has been great for us overall.

"We were very happy just to get it for the three years. We had hoped for sure that it would be longer than the three-year contract."

There is still hope the Tour de PEI could take place in 2011, but it could depend on what happens with the two Montreal events, said Connolly. Events can't exist in isolation, or the cyclists won't attend, he said.

Still, Connolly believes the island has proven it can host such international races, and he hopes other events will follow.