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Tour of Britain, Women’s Tour seek new sponsor as OVO Energy departs

OVO Energy, sponsor of the Women's Tour and Tour of Britain, will not return as title sponsor of either race in 2020.

The two largest races in Britain are on the hunt for a new title sponsor.

On Friday, the Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain revealed that longtime sponsor, OVO Energy, will not return for 2020. The news means the organizer of both races, SweetSpot, is now on the  hunt for additional sponsors to keep the two races going.

“We thank OVO Energy for their support of the events and look forward to beginning new chapters in the already illustrious histories of the Tour of Britain, Women’s Tour and Tour Series in 2020 and beyond,” said Hugh Roberts, CEO of SweetSpot in a release.

SweetSpot has a 10-year deal with British Cycling to deliver the Tour of Britain. The Women’s Tour, also organized by the company, has quickly grown since its launch into one of the premiere stage races in the UCI Women’s WorldTour.

The news ends a four-year run for OVO as a major sponsor in British cycling.

In 2016 the renewable energy company became a local sponsor of the Tour of Britain, and then increased its involvement in 2017, becoming title sponsor of both races, as well as the Tour Series events.

In 2018 OVO generated headlines across the sport when it increased the prize purse for the OVO Women’s Tour to create parity with the prize purse for the Tour of Britain.

“Our most meaningful legacy is taking a step towards gender parity in cycling by increasing the Women’s Tour prize fund, helping to provide an equal platform on the world cycling stage,” said Sarah Booth, Brand Director for OVO Energy, in a release.