The owners of the Tour de France today snapped up a company that runs nine mass participation sports across the UK.
Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), has acquired Xtra Mile Events, a firm that organises the Asics Manchester Marathon among others, for a fee understood to be in the “low millions”.
ASO made the purchase through its Human Race subsidiary, a firm it bought last year and which already operates 30 events across Britain.
Human Race first teamed-up with the ASO earlier in 2016 by hosting a number cycle races in the UK together.
In March 2016, it was announced that two events would be run by Human Race using the ASO "L'Etape" brand – Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales by Le Tour de France and L’Etape London by Le Tour de France.
Human Race was founded in 2010 by former IMG executive Nick Rusling with financial backers that included venture capital funds Epsilon Partners and Calculus Capital.
Human Race chief executive Nick Rusling said:
Participation events are a vital part of the fabric that keeps the country moving and are what we love; we feel lucky to have that as a day job. To develop Xtra Mile Events into the future is a great honour.
"We will work with the existing team and use all our passions and experience to continue with their success.”
Meanwhile Simon Hill, former director of Xtra Mile Events, said it was time to move on. “After a decade of developing and delivering high profile events in running, triathlon and duathlon it is a great time for Xtra Mile Events to become a part of Human Race Group, owned by Amaury Sport Organisation," he said.
"This will take XME into a new era continuing to go the xtra mile and taking the events to new heights.
"It has been an incredible journey and we wish you well with all your future sporting challenges”.