6 Day track cyclist Alex Spratt has suggested “a massive knock-on effect” in the wake of HSBC ending their sponsorship of British Cycling.
HSBC have activated a clause in their eight-year contract with the organisation which allowed them to end the deal three years in, which is estimated to be worth around £10 million per Olympic cycle.
Spratt, who works full time as a contract manager for the East Lancashire NHS, became the UK’s fastest amateur sprinter in 2018 after completing a flying 200m time trial in 9.987 seconds, a time just nine-hundredths of a second off the current world record in the event.
The 30-year-old said: “I think there will be a massive knock-on effect,
“What about British cycling events, obviously you’ve got the national road events, national time trial, HSBC fund that.”
British Cycling have already announced that they will be cutting the live television coverage of the National Road Series, meaning races will only be shown in short highlight packages.
As well as this, the sprinter spoke about the effect of the pressures to perform placed on riders within the British Cycling set-up.
He said: “I think there’s a massive issue with pressure, not even elite level like kids,
“I knew a few of them have kind of being suffering from kind of like anxiety and a bit of depression because they don’t feel that they’re hitting what they need to, and if they don’t hit what they need to then they’re off,
“And I think that’s the problem, I don’t think they give people enough chance.”
This is yet another issue for British Cycling at a difficult time, which saw mass publicity in 2019 after Callum Skinner announced his retirement due to mental health issues.
The question remains as to who will step in to sponsor British Cycling, and where do they go from here.