News – Tour Series 2015 Hits the SweetSpot


Gordon Wiseman talks to some of the team managers about the 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series announced by race director Mick Bennett in Milton Keynes today

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News – Tour Series 2015 Hits the SweetSpot

Gordon Wiseman reports on the Tour Series Launch

Race Director Mick Bennett announced details of this year’s SweetSpot organised Pearl Izumi Tour Series at the iceBike event at Stadium MK this afternoon seven years after the very first round of the event was held in Milton Keynes seven years ago.


Now in its seventh year, the ten venue, twelve race series includes four new host towns in its schedule, clearly showing the high levels of interest across the country in the fast and furious racing style that makes this the country’s premier city centre race series.

The racing starts in Ryde on the Isle of Wight on Thursday ‘14 May with a team time trial before the opening crit race of the 2015 programme. The further new venues are Motherwell and Croydon with the other, Bath, playing host to the closing round on Thursday 11 June. That day’s racing boosted by a Corporate Grand Prix.

Spread over five weeks, the compact schedule of racing always dishes out some interesting challenges to the organisers and riders alike and that’s highlighted this year with three races, at Motherwell, Durham and Barrow, all squeezed into the middle week.

Bennett confirmed that TV hosts ITV4 have signed to broadcast the racing until 2018 and that up to 60 countries take the recorded highlights of each race, interesting news for all potential new sponsors!

Nine teams will make up the regular roster of competitors with all the top UK outfits being represented whilst a guest team will be invited to each round. Much interest will focus on Team WIGGINS with team patron Sir Bradley rumoured to be taking part in at least one race each week after finishing his duties for Team Sky.

The full programme is:
Round One Thursday 14 May Ryde, Isle of Wight (including Team Time Trial)
Round Two Tuesday 19 May Redditch
Round Three Friday 22 May Aberystwyth (including Hill Climb)
Round Four Tuesday 26 May Motherwell
Round Five Thursday 28 May Durham
Round Six Friday 29 May Barrow
Round Seven Tuesday 2 June Croydon
Round Eight Thursday 4 June Canary Wharf
Round Nine Tuesday 9 June Peterborough
Round Ten Thursday 11 June Bath


The nine regular teams are:
JLT Condor presented by Mavic
Madison Genesis
NFTO Pro Cycling
ONE Pro Cycling
Pedal Heaven RT
SportGrub Kuota
Team Raleigh – GAC
Team WIGGINS and
Velosure Starley Primal.

After the presentation, spoke to some of the team managers present and asked what their stand out races would be from the nearly five week programme:

Eddie White (Team Raleigh – GAC): “For me the best week will be the week with three races with Durham in the middle” (Motherwell and Barrow). “For me Durham is always the pinnacle of the racing. It’s an excellent race, almost a ‘race of truth’ with the hill and the cobbles and it always produces a worth winner.”

“We’ve got three classic British riders in Evan Oliphant, Steve Lampier – he needs no introduction as far as climbing hills is concerned – and Wilko who’s almost been reborn this year after a bad 2014 by his standards, for a classic race like Durham. But all the Tour Series are stand out races, it’s the riders and the atmosphere all coming together at the right time, it just makes it a brilliant series”.

John Herety (JLT Condor presented by Mavic): “I think the four new rounds will be very interesting” (Isle of Wight, Bath, Croydon and Motherwell) “and I’ve always liked the team time trial element of the Tour Series anyway so I’m looking forward to that.”


“The racing has been well-thought out as usual. Logistically its challenging as a series but the venues have been kind of paired up together to make it as easy as possible for us.”

“For me the venues are similar in so much as there’s a tactic to be used for each round depending on the type of terrain and the course that it is but that’s the challenge of the Tour Series. Selecting the right riders for the right courses given their various levels of fitness and tiredness over the 5 week period, is another challenge”.

“The three races in one week” (Motherwell, Durham and Barrow) “will be both challenging and tough. Held on the Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, that’ll be a really tough week for everyone involved and will take some logistical and team selection to get right. And given that we don’t know what the course will be like in Motherwell only adds to the challenge.

“My absolute favourite will probably be Durham as it’s always the strongest rider who wins there. We’ve had good success there but it’s a very honest course in terms of the selection being made by both the terrain and the riders. Redditch is similar, a tough circuit that also helps to make the selection”.

Dave Povall (NFTO Pro Cycling): “Initially Canary Wharf is always a favourite, I like the atmosphere and the crowds and being a big wide circuit and its different to your usual twisting city centre circuit that makes Canary Wharf unique to this country. It’s different so that’s good”.

“I think taking the racing down to the Isle of Wight where there’s obviously a great deal of interest in cycling and bike racing anyway is good. So to take high level, British domestic pro bike racing down there, to an area that doesn’t see as much of the racing action that it could, that it should, I think that’s really really good. The people who are behind that event and SweetSpot should applauded for that, that’s fantastic.”


Dave working at team logistics at the team house recently.

“Personally, as a Welshman, there’s a lot of a friends and familiar faces when we go to Aberystwyth which is becoming a firm favourite with the cycling crown so that’s also fantastic. And with Zach May on our roster, the Welsh crit champion, that’ll be something that’s very interesting for us.”

“One I’m genuinely looking forward to is Bath. I worked with Skoda there looking after guests for them at the Tour of Britain last year and the atmosphere in and around the Bath stage start showed there’s clearly a very big interest in bike racing there. So for that relationship to develop and now take the Tour Series there, that’s also fantastic”.


Roger Hammond geeing up his riders at Barrow last year

Roger Hammond – Madison Genesis: “I think the Tour Series is starting to get to that point where it starts having its own ‘classics’, races like Durham and Canary Wharf. The good thing about the Tour Series is that they all become pretty important races pretty quickly”.

“I’m not too keen on the hill-climbs and the time trials, I can understand why the organisers do it for the racing and it’s a great spectacle for the Tour Series itself but it’s a harder thing for us to manage. Those rounds work really well and we’ll focus on those rounds as well and will perform but they’re a lot different from the crit style races where the riders have to get really stuck in”.

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