British Cycling has stated that it intends to hold the men’s Tour of Britain and the Women’s Tour – set to be rebadged as the ‘Tour of Britain Women‘ in 2024, despite the future of the races coming under threat after organisers SweetSpot entered liquidation last month.
SweetSpot’s deal with British Cycling to organise the two stage races was cancelled by the British governing body last November amid allegations that the promoter owed around £700,000 in race licence fees.
It was thought that a new promoter would have needed to be found to continue the June and September races. However, British Cycling has indicated that it will take on the organisation of both races going forward in their original calendar slots of June and September. Time is running low to get the women’s race – which was cancelled last year due to a lack of funding – up and running by early June.
“We didn’t when we began this journey, have the aspirations singly to deliver the Tour of Britain and then the Women’s Tour,” British Cycling CEO John Dutton told selected media, including Cycling Weekly, in Manchester on Friday. “But in working through the untenable situation that we found ourselves in, we thought long and hard about bringing everything together as part of an event portfolio.
“There’s still some work to do. The UCI calendar has been published with the Tour of Britain for women in its June date and the Tour of Britain for men in its September date. We’re quite excited about the Tour of Britain for men on that September date, coming before the World Championships in Switzerland, and the ability, hopefully, to get some star names to turn up both internationally and domestically in preparation for the World Championships.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do on the Tour of Britain Women. There may have to be some compromises from what has happened before in terms of duration. But our intention is to deliver something in 2024, which then grows in 2025 and 2026 but at the moment, we are working to the calendar dates that have been published.”
Dutton said that British Cycling are working on delivering an eight-stage race for men, though added that the women’s race will likely be shorter than be six stages previously planned.
No sponsors for the two races or any race routes have yet been finalised, so the organisation finds itself in a “race against the clock” to deliver the two races.
“On the Tour of Britain Women, the race is due to take place in June, we now have a day-by-day…