The Tour organisers confirm multi-year commitment to women’s Tour of Britain
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Tour organisers confirm multi-year commitment to women’s Tour of Britain

by Shane Stokes at 1:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Talks still ongoing for a title sponsor

The TourThe organisers of the first-ever women’s Tour of Britain have confirmed that they are still looking for a title sponsor for this year’s race, but that they are exploring several possibilities. Even if a major backer is not found, a Sweetspot representative has said that the race – which is titled The Tour - will definitely go ahead, and that a multi-year commitment is in place to build the project.

“As of yet we haven’t signed an agreed a title sponsorship. It doesn’t mean to say that there are not conversations ongoing, with few further along the lines than others,” the spokesperson told VeloNation.

“But we do have our partners – Skoda are supporting the women’s tour by providing cars, and other partners from the Tour of Britain have pledged their support.”

Britain is currently enjoying a boom in cycling participation, in the sport’s success and in media coverage of it. Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome have won the last two editions of the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish is one of the fastest sprinters in the peloton and British female riders have notched up major successes in the past decade.

In addition to that the UCI is beginning a major push to develop that area of the sport, with one initiative being a commitment to film certain women’s events and to distribute that footage free to television companies in order to ramp up the coverage.

New UCI president Brian Cookson has said that one of his biggest priorities is in increasing the lot of female riders, and both British Cycling and Sweetspot see The Tour as linking into that.

“I think it is realistic to say that this event is going to grow,” the Sweetspot spokesperson said. “We are certainly committed to it. Initially you are looking at the normal three to five year commitment to develop the race, even if there ends up not being a title sponsor in year one. In fact, the Tour of Britain itself doesn’t have a title sponsor, and it has been very successful.”

While there are already some ongoing talks with potential backers, she said that sponsors who were interested in being involved were welcome to contact Sweetspot. “We are open to conversations with anyone who wants to step forward. What a fantastic year it would be to be part of something. In year one, a backer could get maximum branding and awareness.

“We are far down the line with a few conversations and look forward to developing the race this year and beyond.”

The 2014 edition of The Tour will be ranked 2.1 on the UCI’s international calendar, and is expected to attract some of the top teams in the sport.

It will begin in Oundle and conclude five stages later in Bury St. Edmonds.

The Tour (2.1), Britain:

Stage 1, May 7: Oundle to Northampton
Stage 2, May 8: Hinckley to Bedford
Stage 3, May 9: Clacton-on-Sea
Stage 4, May 10: Cheshunt to Welwyn Garden City
Stage 5, May 11: Harwich to Bury St Edmonds


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