There is less than a week to go until the UK’s top pro cycling teams clash for the first time in Milton Keynes on 21st May for round one of The Tour Series, the 10 round town and city centre series.
Billed as the world's first ever team cycle racing series the aim is to draw big crowds when it hits the streets and our screens (if you can get ITV4). After months of preparation, the cream of Britain's professional cycling teams are set to go into battle to find the fastest, most tactically astute and stamina driven team of cyclists in the UK. Under pinning it all is a drive to get more people on bikes by showing just how skillfull and exciting cycling can be.
According to the organisers what sets the Tour Series apart is that it's not based on individual athletic performance, but instead on team performance. 10 teams of five top riders will engage in combat against each other to become overall Tour Series champions. In each round 50 cyclists will be racing for the best top three positions over one hour of fast-paced and attacking racing around a 1-1.5km city centre circuit, there are guaranteed to be thrills and spills.
Amongst those taking part will be some of the greatest road and track racing talent that the UK has produced in the last 20 years. From Olympians Chris Newton, Rob Hayles and Ed Clancy, to domestic-dominator Russell Downing. Former national road champ and Giro d’Italia rider Matt Stephens leads the powerful Sigma squad and world silver medallist and former national track champ Tony Gibb leads the Plowman Craven – Madison boys out to engage with the UK’s best.
"With the awe inspiring venues, the excitement of the crowds and the fast and furious racing against the best teams in the UK, the Tour Series has to be the pinnacle of the BMC UK Racing Team's season’ said BMC UK Racing Team manager Alan Rosner.
"The riders have been training hard in preparation for the battles to come. The BMC UK Racing Team may not be the biggest or the most established of the teams on the domestic circuit but we will be taking the racing to the larger teams and looking to entertain the crowds and gain some fans with our passionate, aggressive style of racing."
BMC UK Racing Team rider Steven Griffiths comments; ‘The Tour Series is a fantastic opportunity for the BMC UK Racing Team and especially for the younger riders like myself. We have the chance to prove ourselves against the finest cycling teams in the country and I'm relishing the opportunity to go head to head with the best riders in the city centres of the UK.’
As well as the racing each venue hosting rounds of The Tour Series will stage cycling themed festivals. Coinciding with National Bike Week in 13-21 June and supported by Cycling England, this festival of cycling-based activities and races is free for all to enjoy and it's hoped will generate a carnival atmosphere at each of the 10 venues. Activities will commence around 2pm on race day with the professional racing starting at 7pm.
Cycling festival activities will vary from venue to venue and will include a whole raft of cycling related street entertainers and displays together with performances by both dancing and stunt cyclists. Former mountain bike trials world champion Jez Avery will be demonstrating his skills in Southport while BMX and MTB stunt displays will appear at most of The Tour Series rounds.
Round one of The Tour Series kicks off in Milton Keynes on 21st May around a 1-1.5km street circuit with the finals of the series being staged at Southend-on-Sea on 25th June.
Tour Series Dates
Round 1 - 21st May - Milton Keynes
Round 2 - 28th May - Exeter
Round 3 - 2nd June - Woking
Round 4 - 4th June - Peterborough
Round 5 - 9th June - Blackpool
Round 6 - 11th June - Southport
Round 7 - 16th June – Stoke-on-Trent
Round 8 - 18th June - Colchester
Round 9 - 23rd June - Chester
Round 10 - 25th June – Southend-on-Sea
The Tour Series and The Tour of Britain are proud to be partnered with the Prostate Cancer Charity.