'This year has been tough for everyone': organiser says 2023 Tour of Britain 'very unlikely' to get title sponsor

Race will go ahead next weekend without naming partner

Tom Pidcock with a bike throw at the Tour of Britain
(Image credit: Will Palmer/SWpix)

The organiser of the Tour of Britain has said it is now “very unlikely” the race will find a title sponsor for the 2023 edition. 

The eight-stage event, which begins on September 3, has already had most of the branding printed, with plans in place to go ahead without a main sponsor. 

Still, speaking to Cycling Weekly, Peter Hodges of organiser SweetSpot explained he has "not given up hope" of finding last-minute commercial partners. 

"There’s not a point where you go, ‘It’s not possible [we’ll find a sponsor]’," he said. "But realistically there comes a cut off where things get printed and so forth. We have to produce event branding, you know, the gantry, the podium artwork, the podium backdrop. Earlier in the year, you’re producing posters and leaflets, so I suppose there’s a diminishing timeframe of what can be printed."

This week, the race organiser announced two new partnerships for this year’s edition, with English sparkling winemakers Nyetimber and luxury bike manufacturer Pinarello both penning deals. 

The Tour of Britain, however, has been unable to find a main naming sponsor after AJ Bell withdrew its support following last year’s event. The race is also without a sponsor for its leader’s jersey.  

"This year has been tough for everyone in terms of cycling in the UK," Hodges said. "I don’t think anyone, particularly from a commercial point of view, is having a super successful year."

Outside of racing, several large UK distributors have suffered - the likes of Moore Large and 2Pure entering administration, with Brexit, a weak pound, surplus stock from the pandemic and the pressures of inflation all considered factors in their demise. 

"You’re coming off the back of Covid uncertainty, and then obviously we had the double whammy of the Queen’s death last year, which then posed another challenge," Hodges commented. 

The organiser chose to call off the final three stages of last year’s race following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, as a mark of respect.

In March this year, Sweetspot had to cancel the Women’s Tour, citing increased running costs, a reduced level of support and challenges in finding a vehicle partner. The organiser had tried to save the race with a crowdfunding campaign, but collected just £18,000 of its £100,000 target.

Conversations between the Tour of Britain and potential sponsors are still ongoing, but are focused mainly "around 2024, 2025 onwards," Hodges said. 

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Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.