Two elderly gentlemen pose in front of a screen showing an image of the tour of Britain.
Hugh Roberts and Mick Bennett from SweetSpot Group. Credit: Sweetspot

SweetSpot founder Hugh Roberts, and Race Director Mick Bennett, will retire at the end of 2023, marking the end of 20 years at the helm of the company behind The Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour cycle races.

Having founded SweetSpot in 2003 the pair were behind the creation of the modern Tour of Britain cycle race in 2004, which under their stewardship has grown from a five-day event to its present eight-day length on the UCI ProSeries calendar, and is one of the world’s highest regarded stage races and a cornerstone of the UK’s sporting calendar.

Other successes included the creation of The Women’s Tour in 2014 – which became the gold standard of the UCI Women’s WorldTour – and the establishment of The Tour Series in 2009, which has run for 13 seasons, featuring more than 120 televised events in British town and city centres. Hugh and Mick were also the creators of Ride London, the Olympic legacy event, along with the team at London Marathon Events.

In total Roberts and Bennett have overseen more than 180 stages of the men’s Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour across the UK between 2004 and 2023, leading a dedicated SweetSpot team with a combined 150 years of experience in organising some of Britain’s most prestigious pro cycling events. Culminating in the successful delivery of the UCI World Championships in Glasgow when SweetSpot handled the delivery of the road race elements.

Having enjoyed an unbroken run of annual events – Tour of Britain, Women’s Tour and Tour Series – from 2004, the effects of the pandemic severely disrupted the 2020 and 2021 calendars and SweetSpot’s business model. In 2022 the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during the fifth stage brought an abrupt end to the Tour of Britain, and the enforced cancellation of the final three stages of the race, while the combination of inflationary pressures, the cost of living crisis and local government funding issues have presented increased challenges to events in 2023.

Over the past 20 years the free-to-attend Tours delivered by Hugh, Mick, and the SweetSpot team, have been watched at the roadside and on free to air ITV by millions of spectators and viewers, providing a source of inspiration for the countless school children lining the routes and taking part in support activities, and provided a platform for British riders to race against the world’s best on home roads.