An article on today’s procycling.com suggests that a Tour of Britain is a definite.
It has appeared on the UCI’s 2002 race calendar, tentatively scheduled for 4-8 September 2002, amid growing speculation that the British race is on the verge of resurrection.
International Management Group (IMG), already involved in the sport through Marc Biver and former pro, Tony Rominger, organisers of the Tours of Switzerland and Romandy, have confirmed to http://www.procycling.com that they expect to be race organisers.
Hugo Allen of IMG told Procycling: "We are in advanced sponsorship negotiations with a client with whom we have a long term relationship, although no deal has yet been closed. We have also started discussions with the terrestrial TV networks."
British Cycling approached the UCI in late September to secure a slot for the event. They proposed 9-15 September and were allotted 4-8 September.
The dates clash with a cricket match between England-India, thereby ruling out Channel 4, who passed on their Tour de France rights at a discount to ITV. TWI, IMG’s television arm, provides Channel 4 with Transworld Sport. The Tour of Britain would offer them the chance to link up with ITV’s new cable sport channel.
And former Prudential Tour of Britain race director Alan Rushton, contacted by Procycling.com during a visit Malaysia, was typically cagey about his knowledge of developments. "I know of discussions and of progress taking place in those discussions," he admitted.
"I have to be tight-lipped about it for the time being."