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British Cycling: Lloyds sponsorship deal ‘game-changing’

British Cycling has agreed a multi-million-pound sponsorship with banking firm Lloyds that it described as “game-changing”.

The deal is a “multi-year agreement”, but a specific financial figure was not revealed.

However, British Cycling chief executive Jon Dutton said: “This is game-changing for British Cycling and we understand it is one of the biggest deals in British sport in the last two years.”

The deal took only two months to be agreed and comes after British Cycling took on the organisation of the men’s and women’s Tour of Britain races in February, following the liquidation of previous organisers Sweetspot.

The deal will live alongside the current eight-year agreement with oil company Shell, which caused controversy when announced in 2022.

“It takes the pressure off the whole of the organisation, but it doesn’t mean to say we are taking our foot off the gas – far from it,” added Dutton. “This is only the start of a bright future and a bold step forward.”

The women’s Tour of Britain takes place from 6 June and runs over four stages, after being cancelled last year because of financial problems.

Both races are expensive to organise in the UK compared to those abroad such as the Tour de France, and they were central to British Cycling’s new multi-discipline five-year plan to promote cycling in the UK., external

The women’s race in particular is significant, being a World Tour level event which has previously paid its winners the same as the men’s race, and will again this year, proportionately to the number of stages.

This is a rarity in a sport where the Tour de France organiser pays its female winner a tenth of the 500,000 euros (£425,000) given to the men’s victor.

“We have made a big commitment to our prize money in the Tour of Britain women this year,” said Dutton. “Next year we will run [both Tours of Britain] with exactly the same number of stages [six] and the riders treated exactly the same way.”

British Cycling has been able to celebrate 154 Olympic and Paralympic medals since 2000 – in particular on the track. The incoming money will also be used to continue the performance programmes which have yielded so much success in the past.

Dutton said that there were other exciting projects in the pipeline, and he denied there had been financial concerns for British Cycling leading up to this deal.

But he added that it was “only the start of the journey, and in terms of financial sustainability, it will take us a number of years”.

“Exact details still need to be worked through,” Dutton added, “but the investment will cover everything from working with communities, talent identification and support of people all the way through to standing on the podium.”