Tour of Britain's future in doubt after promoter deal cancelled
The Tour of Britain's future has been plunged into doubt after British Cycling cancelled its agreement with race organisers in a dispute over licence fees.
Sweetspot held a 10-year agreement with the governing body to stage and promote the Tour of Britain.
But it was reported on Tuesday that the company has fallen behind significantly on paying an agreed rights fee, with the debt said to reach £700 000 ($859 000) by the end of this year.
"We can confirm that we have terminated our agreement with Sweetspot Group Limited to deliver the Tour of Britain," a British Cycling statement said.
"We would like to place on record our thanks to Sweetspot Group Limited for their work to deliver the race over the past 20 years.
"British Cycling remains fully committed to the delivery of the Tour of Britain in 2024, and will share further details in due course."
The Women's Tour and the domestic Tour Series, both of which are also organised by Sweetspot, were cancelled this year due to a lack of sponsorship and "economic challenges", although both events are scheduled to return in 2024.
But doubts over the Tour of Britain, which is critical in sponsorship terms to a number of domestic teams, will spark further questions over the state of domestic racing in the UK.
Hugh Roberts, chief executive of Sweetspot, said: "Everything is in the hands of our lawyers who are dealing with each other. While that is happening, we are going full-steam ahead with the Women's Tour and we are making good progress."