SweetSpot wins Tour of Britain tender, will organise race until 2018
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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

SweetSpot wins Tour of Britain tender, will organise race until 2018

by VeloNation Press at 10:37 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Britain
 
Existing organisers win out despite talk of a challenge by ASO

Tour of BritainFour months after Tour de France organisers ASO indicated that they were considering putting in a bid to run the Tour of Britain, the company which has organised the British event in recent years has succeeded in its efforts to continue in that role for the foreseeable future.

SweetSpot Group, which has organised and promoted the race since its revival in 2004, has triumphed in the bidding and earned a thumbs up from British Cycling. After what the federation describes as a ‘rigorous and transparent tender process,’ it was awarded the contract to run the race for an additional five years.

Under the plan, the race will push for a step up to 2.HC status. In addition to that, British Cycling president Brian Cookson said recently that the tender for the race would also need to include a women’s event.

British Cycling director of Cyclesport and Membership, Jonny Clay, thanked the various bidders plus The Sports Consultancy, which oversaw the tendering process. He said that he was satisfied that the best option was now in place to bring the race forward.

“At the start of this process, we wanted to ensure we got the best possible deal for Britain’s cycling fans, to put in place a structure which would help the Tour of Britain graduate into the top division of the global cycling calendar,” he stated.

“Of the many responses we received, SweetSpot best demonstrated an understanding of our desire for integrated activity and the strong relationship we would like our national tour to have with our wider programmes and initiatives,” he stated.

Since its return to the international calendar nine years ago, the tour has developed into one of the top events prior to the world road race championships. While the early editions had problems with traffic and concerns over safety, things have been on much more solid ground in recent years and the race’s reputation has risen as a result.

Clay believes that it can make further progress in the years to come. “We’re confident the new commitment made by SweetSpot to grow the event’s stature and reputation, as well as the promise to raise standards in many areas, will deliver what fans of the sport want to see from our national tour in the future,” he said.

“The agreement sets out clear objectives for SweetSpot including the attainment of HC status for the race, a milestone that along with other improvements will help to encourage the participation of the very best teams and riders in the world.”

When the decision to put the race out to tender was originally announced last December, SweetSport expressed what it said was ‘surprise and disappointment’ at the news.

It said then that it fully intended to participate in the tender process, in order to “retain the right to organise and promote Britain’s biggest professional road race from 2014 onwards.”

It spoke about the amount of work that had been done thus far and the strong relationships and partnerships that had been forged as a result. It also said that the race had been a catalyst to help the sport grow in Britain.

Speaking today, SweetSpot’s director of cycling Mick Bennett said that the company was ‘simply thrilled’ with the news that it would continue to be the delivery partner for the race.

“The SweetSpot team are hugely proud of the work we have done over the last 10 years in making The Tour of Britain the event it is today and look forward to working closely with British Cycling to deliver an even brighter future for the race and the many millions of fans who support the race.”

Last year’s event was won by Jon Tiernan Locke, who has since gone on to race with Team Sky. The 2013 event will start in Peebles on the Scottish borders on Sunday September 15th and will conclude eight days later in London.

The course for the race will see the riders tackle a ten mile individual time trial around Knowsley on stage three, as well as the race’s first ever summit finish at Haytor on Dartmoor on day six.

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