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Tour of Britain and Women's Tour no longer listed on UCI calendar

The owner of the Women's Tour and organiser of the Tour of Britain, SweetSpot, entered liquidation recently — British Cycling's Elite Road Racing Task Force just yesterday recommending "all efforts should be made to ensure delivery" of 2024 events...

In yet another worrying development in the British racing scene the Tour of Britain and Women's Tour are no longer listed as events for 2024 on the UCI's website.

Uncertainty around the races has grown in recent weeks, the owner of the Women's Tour and organiser of the Tour of Britain, sports events and marketing company SweetSpot, entering voluntary liquidation a couple of weeks ago. The Women's WorldTour event was cancelled in 2023 due to a lack of financial backing, while the men's Tour of Britain went ahead in September amid noises of financial pressure, before in November British Cycling said it had terminated its contract with SweetSpot over what the governing body said is a financial dispute over unpaid rights fees.

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

There has also been talk of legal action from Isle of Wight Council which says it is £350,000 out of pocket after stages of the 2022 Tour of Britain were cancelled due to Queen's death. Earlier this month the announcement came that SweetSpot had entered voluntary liquidation, with liabilities likely to extend significantly past £1 million.

Women's Tour Oxford (Zac Williams/SWpix.com)

[Zac Williams/SWpix.com]

It is to that context that it probably should not be entirely surprising to see word spread of the Tour of Britain and Women's Tour no longer being listed on the UCI's calendar as events for 2024, a post on social media site X (formerly Twitter) from Lukáš Ronald Lukács first noting the absence.

UCI website Tour of Britain

In reply, it has been suggested from domestic racing website The British Continental that British Cycling may have an "announcement" on the matter later this week, however the governing body has not replied to request for comment at the time of publication. It had been suggested the Tour of Britain was due to run from 1 September to 8 September, with the Women's Tour scheduled for 4 June to 9 June, however as of now those dates are not on the calendar.

The news comes just a day after British Cycling published its Elite Road Racing Task Force's report into the domestic road racing scene, sharing recommendations for "reinvigorating" racing in the UK.

One of the recommendations said, "All efforts should be made to ensure delivery of the Tour of Britain and a UCI Women's World Tour stage race in 2024". Another adding the need to "explore opportunities to increase the number of UCI 1.2 and 2.2 races".

2023 Tour of Britain stage seven (Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

[Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com]

Ineos Grenadiers' new CEO, John Allert, last week told a press call that the team, which won the Tour of Britain with Bradley Wiggins in 2013 and has claimed numerous stage wins over the years, are "very interested stakeholders in terms of [it being] a home race".

"All I can say is as a team with British heritage we will work with any stakeholders, British Cycling or any commercial stakeholders, to as quickly as possible see a Tour of Britain back on the calendar," he said.

"I think it's an important race, not just for the UK, but some of these national races are huge opportunities for local riders, non-WorldTour teams, and for local fans... having a gap on the calendar like that is not good for the sport."

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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3 comments

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Secret_squirrel | 5 months ago
1 like

Worth mention of course that if BC had been a little less demanding about their alledged £3/4m worth of right that Sweetspot may not have need to declare bankruptcy in the first place. 
 

This is petrol loving BC's mess to own. 

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stonojnr replied to Secret_squirrel | 5 months ago
0 likes

not wholly convinced that was the entirety of the problem there, even if it may have been one of the final straws which broke the camels back.

BC had a duty to its members to claim that money back, its money which probably funds other areas of racing/coaching for them, which may have had a detrimental knock on effect to those activities as a result of the shortfall

Im sure BC absolutely knew the likely outcome with the actions they took but no one ultimately forced Sweetspot to sign the deal that said thats what they had to pay BC to run the ToB for them.

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don simon fbpe | 5 months ago
1 like

I assume that Isle of Wight Council are suing Brenda and Co and not event organisers.

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