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British Cycling hopes to deliver Tour of Britain and women's edition in 2024

The governing body accepted that delivering the races will be "incredibly challenging" but said there had been "positive discussions with partners" with a view to reviving the professional British racing scene after months of uncertainty...

British Cycling has this afternoon committed to attempting to deliver both a men's and women's edition of the Tour of Britain in 2024, the governing body announcing its "new vision" for major cycling events in Britain following months of doom and gloom.

Earlier this week the Tour of Britain and Women's Tour disappeared from the UCI's 2024 race calendar, but British Cycling has today revealed that "positive discussions with partners across all areas of commercial, broadcast and local delivery have already commenced" with a view to running the men's Tour of Britain in its usual September calendar slot, and a women's event during the dates previously occupied by the Women's Tour, which was cancelled last year.

The announcement comes after months of negativity about the future of the races, the former organiser of the Tour of Britain and owner of the Women's Tour, Sweetspot, entering voluntary liquidation a couple of weeks ago, that news coming after British Cycling had, in November, terminated its contract with the events company over what the governing body said is a financial dispute about unpaid rights fees.

British Cycling has now said it recognises the "vital importance of the events to our teams, riders and our national cycling identity" and said it is "our ambition to deliver two national tours (the Tour of Britain – Women and Tour of Britain – Men) in 2024 and beyond", with the races hopefully delivered in the calendar slots previously occupied by the Women's Tour and Tour of Britain.

> "It's at the limit now": Tour of Britain organiser highlights "enormous" costs involved, responds to critics who called route "dull"

"We have a long-term vision to grow the races and their stature within the global cycling calendar, making the most of Britain's most iconic and challenging routes to provide unforgettable moments for riders, fans and communities alike," a press release from the governing body stated.

And while British Cycling has accepted that delivering the races this year will be "incredibly challenging", it insisted that "positive discussions" are underway and promised to be "transparent" with teams and riders to avoid "uncertainty" causing "concern and confusion.

"I'm really happy to see British Cycling investing to try and make sure these two important UK stage races happen in 2024 and for years to come, and I hope everyone can get behind this," Lizzie Deignan commented.

Tom Pidcock also praised the announcement: "As a British rider in a British team, riding the Tour of Britain is really special. It's an important race in the calendar and you can't beat the atmosphere of racing on home roads in front of local fans.

Tom Pidcock, stage six, 2023 Tour of Britain (Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

[Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com]

"As a kid who grew up watching the Tour of Britain, there is always something incredible about seeing elite cyclists racing around your own country. It's an important race for everyone in the British cycling scene — the clubs, the fans, British riders and the next generations of home-grown talent who could win a race like this one day.

"Cycling events in Britain need support now more than ever before, and I really hope that everyone can rally behind this event to give us a race that the whole nation can be proud of."

"A new vision for major cycling events"

The Tour of Britain revival plan is the headline news of a wider "new vision" from British Cycling about how to ensure "our members and cycling fans have the opportunity to watch all of our country’s best riders compete on home soil".

Beyond just the road, the governing body says it will explore the feasibility of a multi-sport urban event series, including BMX freestyle, in the UK, "build on the success of the UCI Track Champions League" by conducting a feasibility study on a new domestic track league concept, and "continue to support efforts" to secure mountain bike and cyclo-cross UCI World Cup rounds in Britain.

Work will be underpinned by a "new social impact framework", British Cycling says, to guide decision-making through an effort to "establish the criteria by which our events will positively impact levels of physical activity, pride and place, social mobility and inclusion".

CEO Jon Dutton said: "Major events have played a transformational role in growing the profile of our sport and helping us to take the success of our country’s best riders into the communities and homes of millions. Today we are pleased to share a renewed vision for our organisation which reflects the full breadth of our disciplines and places social impact at its very heart.

Jon Dutton, British Cycling CEO ( Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

[Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com]

"We know just how important our men's and women's national tours are to our riders, teams and the national cycling culture. We have acted quickly to safeguard their place on the calendar in 2024, and have bold, long-term ambitions to grow their stature, reach and commercial proposition over the years ahead.

"While we don't underestimate the challenge in front of us, we've been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received to date. We will continue to work hand-in-hand with our partners, the cycling community and businesses to create a sustainable future for our sport, extend our impact in communities, and ensure that the success of our riders across the world is matched by a thriving and diverse portfolio of major events at home."

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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Boopop | 5 months ago
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Hoping to see lots of Shell Greenwashing protests on these routes. I feel bad for the competitors who will have to put up with it, but it's disgusting what BC have done. Thankfully switching to CyclingUK was a painless task.

Shell are suing Greenpeace too 🙃

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