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.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.