Tour of Britain chiefs fume over status snub
Cyclists ride past the London Eye as they compete in the final stage of Tour of Britain in London on September 22, 2013
The latest edition of the British Tour, won last Sunday by Olympic gold medallist Bradley Wiggins, was widely regarded as a huge success, with more than one million spectators flocking to watch the eight days of racing.
It was hoped the third tier (2.1 category) race would be promoted to 2.HC (hors categorie) status -- the second division behind the World Tour.
But this week the International Cycling Union (UCI) calendar for 2014 was published and the race remained at 2.1 level, without organisers receiving correspondence from the world governing body or British Cycling, who made the request for promotion on their behalf.
Some similar one-week races were promoted and organisers SweetSpot and event director Mick Bennett, were quick to express their frustration.
"SweetSpot Group, the organisers and promoters of The Tour of Britain, are disappointed to learn that Britain's national Tour has not been granted an upgrade to 2.HC status for 2014," a statement read.
"Thus far an adequate explanation for the decision or clarification on the criteria for an upgrade to HC status has not been provided.
"SweetSpot firmly believe that after a decade of continued growth and development, and with global live television coverage for the past two years, The Tour of Britain deserves to be elevated to HC status for 2014.
"Under 2.HC status The Tour of Britain would be afforded more UCI points and an increased prize fund, while also allowing for a greater percentage of the field to be drawn from the UCI Pro Team division."
British-registered teams and a Great Britain team would still be permitted to take part at 2.HC level.
The 2014 Tour of Britain is scheduled to take place between September 7 and 14.