News – Friends Life title sponsor of Tour of Britain


Following the great success of the inaugural Women’s Tour in May sponsored by the same company, Friends Life now becomes the title sponsor of the Tour of Britain

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News – Friends Life title sponsor of Tour of Britain

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Friends Life has announced that it is to sponsor the Tour of Britain. Following the great success of the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour, the pensions and retirement specialist has now become the first title sponsor of the Tour of Britain, as well as confirming continued sponsorship of The Women’s Tour. This sponsorship brings together the most prestigious British male and female professional road races under one banner.

PR_Tour of Britain Friends Life_2014

Andy Briggs, Friends Life Group Chief Executive (centre), with professionals Alex Dowsett (Movistar) and Jessie Walker (Matrix Fitness), announcing Friends Life’s sponsorship of the Tour of Britain cycle race, at Friends Life Group headquarters in London. Photo: Geoff Caddick/PA Wire

The Tour of Britain, last year won by Sir Bradley Wiggins, is the UK’s biggest professional cycle event, with 108 top cyclists racing through nine stages, covering more than 1,350 kilometres. The 2014 event starts on 7th September in Liverpool, with a world-class field competing over eight days before culminating in a time trial and Criterium in London on 14th September.

More than a million fans are expected to line the route to watch the country’s largest free-to-spectate sporting event.

The sponsorship will also include the Friends Life Yellow Jersey, which will be worn each day by the race leader. Friends Life will also be supporting the Tour Ride, a mass-participation event to take place in October. To mark the sponsorship, Andy Briggs, Group Chief Executive of Friends Life was joined in London by 2013 Tour of Britain stage winner Alex Dowsett and Jessie Walker, who competed in the Friends Life Women’s Tour this May.


The Friends Life Women’s Tour was says the riders, one of, if not the best organised Women’s Stage race in the world at its first attempt by Sweetspot. Pic: Michelle Rudd

The elite cyclists mounted a tandem bike on the roof of One New Change to celebrate the sponsorship together!

Alex Dowsett – “Sponsorship is everything. It enables us to achieve our dreams and give 100 percent commitment to our sport and Friends Life coming into cycling is really great because its promoting cycling and making it a bigger sport”.

Jessie Walker – “The Friend’s Life Women’s Tour was such an incredible experience for me racing alongside the likes of Marianne Vos who has been a hero to me throughout my cycling so far”.

Andy Briggs said: “Cycling is now hugely popular in Britain and we want to encourage and support its growing popularity by sponsoring the Tour of Britain. The success of the inaugural Friends Life Women’s Tour has fuelled our enthusiasm for elite road racing and the inspiration it brings to a wider cycling audience.

These tours are not only a great test of strength, endurance and ability for the race participants, they also bring together family and friends in support of the race and highlights the mental and physical benefits of cycling to all.

“This sponsorship also gives us the opportunity to demonstrate how the discipline of being a cycling professional is similar to being financially fit. Our business is about being financially prepared through each stage of life whether it’s saving for retirement or protecting families.”


Sir Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour of Britain in 2013.

Commenting on the announcement, Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of race organisers SweetSpot said: “We are delighted to be renewing and extending our partnership with Friends Life to encompass the two biggest cycling Tours in the UK. Friends Life are the perfect ‘fit’ and their plans for activating their involvement will no doubt prove to be ground breaking, not just for the events themselves, but more importantly in our eyes, for the greater good of the sport.

“Securing the support of such an established blue chip organisation will raise the profile of The Tours further and take both the Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain to another level. This partnership is an affirmation of our work on both races.”

Jonny Clay, British Cycling director of cycle sport, said: “We saw with the Tour de France the huge appetite there is to watch bike racing in this country and today’s announcement is reward for the years of hard work which have gone into the Tour of Britain and the Women’s Tour”.


Two of the Worlds biggest stars, Nairo Quintana and Bradley Wiggins shake hands at the start of a stage in the Tour of Britain.

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