British Cycling has declared their plans to step in and manage the 2024 Tours of Britain for both men and women after the former organizer went bankrupt. However, they are under pressure to quickly organize the events.
British Cycling announced that despite not having finalized race routes, sponsorship, or stage details, the women’s and men’s races will still take place on their original dates of June 4-9 and September 1-8 in 2024.
The events, titled Tour of Britain-Women and Tour of Britain-Men, will now fall under a new banner called British Cycling Events. This banner will encompass various disciplines, such as offroad, urban, and track, and will prioritize addressing issues of social justice, social mobility, social cohesion, and inactivity.
The governing body’s decision to take over was triggered by their contentious separation from Sweetspot, the previous promoter for the Tours. The dispute arose from Sweetspot’s failure to pay £700,000 in licence fees. This unique circumstance has presented British Cycling CEO Jon Dutton with a chance to establish momentum and trust, as well as connect with a fresh audience and communities.
“We carefully considered how to resolve the difficult circumstances we were facing,” stated Dutton. “As a non-profit organization, the funds we acquire are reinvested into the cycling community. This is why the outstanding debt impacts us greatly.”
Dutton acknowledged that the previous financial model, which relied heavily on local authority funding, will likely change as both events were described as “multimillion-pound races”. However, he was unable to provide clarity on potential sources for future investment.
“The current financial situation of BC is challenging,” he stated. “Our reserves can only be replenished through growth, which will not occur immediately. We must introduce new initiatives and effectively manage potential risks.”
The job they have been given is made more difficult by the presence of unpaid bills for race security, team winnings, and payments to local organizations, like the Isle of Wight. Dutton stated, though, that both races continue to have backing and positive relationships from people invested in the sport.
Lizzie Deignan, who won the women’s Tour of Britain in 2016 and 2019, and Tom Pidcock, a stage winner in the Tour de France, along with his team Ineos Grenadiers, have all promised their backing for British Cycling’s program.
“As someone who grew up watching the Tour of Britain, it’s always amazing to witness elite cyclists racing in your own country,” Pidcock expressed. “This race holds great significance for the entire British cycling community – from the clubs and fans to the British riders and the upcoming generations of homegrown talent.”