HSBC will be named the new sponsor of British Cycling this weekend, according to Mail Online, which says the announcement that the bank will be replacing Sky coinciding with the first HSBC UK BikeFest in Birmingham on Sunday.
Sky and British Cycling announced last year that their eight-year partnership, which coincided with the country’s track cyclists dominating the medals table at the Beijing, London and Rio Olympics, would finish at the end of 2016.
That decision does not affect Team Sky, which the broadcaster continues to sponsor. It is believed that the ending of the partnership was due to Sky making budget cuts due to the £4.2 billion it is paying for the rights to show Premier League football over the next three years.
HSBC, which bills itself as “the world’s local bank,” sponsors a number of golf events worldwide, the biggest being the HSBC World Golf Champions tournament in Shanghai, and in rugby is sponsor of the Hong Kong Sevens and the Sevens World Series.
Away from elite sport, one of the most visible aspects of Sky’s sponsorship of British Cycling has been the Sky Ride events that see cyclists young and old take to the car-free streets of cities throughout Britain each summer.
Those mass participation rides – the final one was in York last Sunday, with thousands of cyclists participating – seem set to be rebranded as HSBC UK BikeFest, the title of this weekend’s event in Birmingham.
Taking place on Sunday 18 September, it is being held in partnership with Birmingham Cycle Revolution.
Running from 9am-4pm, the event will include a 2-kilometre traffic-free circuit centred on the city’s Victoria Square.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.