Two of the first teams to confirm their participation in the five day Tour of Britain are Belgian Division One teams Lotto-Domo and Mr Bookmaker.com-Palmans.
Roger Hammond, a former junior world cyclo-cross champion and the current British road race champion, rides for Mr Bookmaker.com-Palmans. Hammond famously came third in this year’s Paris-Roubaix.
Jeremy Hunt, a former British road race champion, is a fellow member of the team.
Event director, Tony Doyle MBE, said:
I have been delighted with the interest shown by the managers of these elite teams and confidently expect to stage a Tour of Britain that has the best quality field in its long history. Cycling enthusiasts and the general public are in a for a real spectacle that will capture the imagination everywhere it goes."
Micheal Heal, the Tour’s communications director, said:
"Since the announcement that The Tour of Britain is to be revived after a five year gap, SweetSpot has been inundated with enquiries from companies who want to have an involvement with the race."
BikeBiz.com can confirm this as two sponsorship agencies – with bluechip global clients – read about the event’s confirmation on the public news pages of this site and were subsequently put in touch with SweetSpot, the Tour’s organising company.
The event is currently supported by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Visit Britain and the Regional Development Agencies and there is no overall sponsor. The bluechip clients are said to have big budgets but would only be willing to invest in the Tour of Britain if they had top-billing.
To date, SweetSpot has said it preferred a collection of smaller "partner" sponsors so the Tour of Britain "will have the same broad foundations as The Tour de France and provide the longevity that all these partners demand."
The tour will feature sixteen teams and take in stages which start in Manchester and visit the North-West of England on day one. Stage two will be based in Yorkshire (Sheffield?) and stage three will visit cities in the East Midlands, including Nottingham, although SweetSpot will not confirm this. The fourth stage takes the riders to South-East Wales and Gwent. The climax will take place on Sunday with a crit on the streets of Westminster.
BBC TV’s Grandstand will televise the Tour in an 80-minute programme on the Sunday. A similar programme will be made for global distribution.