Fast-paced city centre bike racing returns to ITV4 this May and June with the 2013 Pearl Izumi Tour Series.
Starting in Kirkcaldy, Fife, on May 14 and concluding in Ipswich a month later, ten teams of five professional cyclists battle it out at each of the 11 rounds held on weekday evenings in town and city centres across the UK, as they aim for the right to be crowned the best team in Britain.
An hour-long highlights show of every round will be broadcast on ITV4 in a evening slot the day after each event takes place.
The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is Britain’s leading televised cycle race series and in 2013 it will celebrate its fifth year of unique, team based competition.
Introduced in 2009, it has transformed the look of the British peloton like no other set of races for many a decade in this country.
Organised by Sweetspot, the town centre races held in front of large enthusastic crowds are a magnet for teams wanting to get their riders experience of major national inter-city cycling, as well as a chance to get their sponsors lucrative television time.
The winning team in Kirkcaldy, hosts of round one on Tuesday, May 14, will be the first to pull on the new distinctive Tour Series red jerseys, with the ultimate winners crowned five weeks later on Friday, June 14.
Ipswich hosts the double-header Grand Final, incorporating a mid-afternoon Team Time Trial followed by the evening circuit race, where the final honours will be decided.
The races are held over approximately one-hour, plus five laps, and the team standings for each round are calculated by adding together the positions of the top three riders of each team, with simply the team with the lowest score winning and receiving 10 points for the overall championship.
Each team gets one point less than the one in front of them, so second gets nine points, third gets eight, and so on.
In addition, there is the sprint competition held at each event, with points accumulated at each round adding up to produce a Tour Series sprint champion.
There are three sprints every race, which award five points to the winner, four for second place, and so on, down to one point for fifth place.
The unique Tour Series format places all the emphasis on the teams, with Britain’s ten leading professional teams taking part in every round of the series, battling it out for the right to be crowned champions and the best team in Britain.
Featuring World, Olympic, Commonwealth and British Champions, the 2013 Pearl Izumi Tour Series brings a glittering array of stars, plus the very top future prospects for British cycling to every town and city it visits.
Alongside the Tour Series at five of the events will be the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series for the country’s top women cyclists, which returns for its third year as part of the schedule.
Over the five rounds, starting in Stoke-on-Trent on May 21, the battle will be on to follow in the wheel tracks of previous champions Helen Wyman (2011) and Annie Simpson (2012).
Key to the success of Tour Series since 2009 has been the ITV highlights shows, brining the action and excitement as the battle for the series title unfolds and also showcasing the venues that Tour Series visits.
The Tour Series can look forward to 11 hours of coverage this May and June, with action from the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series also included in five of the ITV4 shows.
It will be Britain’s only domestic road cycling series shown on terrestrial television in 2013 and each highlights show will be broadcast in a regular 10pm evening slot.
Ned Boulting, Jill Douglas and Graham Little will all share presenting duties on ITV4’s highlights shows, while energetic race commentary will be provided by the legendary ‘voice of cycling’ Hugh Porter and Brian Smith.
Each ITV4 Tour Series programme will be available to watch on-demand via ITV Player.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE TEAMS/RIDERS NATIONAL MAP * Indicates ITV4 highlights show also includes Women’s Grand Prix Series Tuesday 14th May Round 1 – Kirkcaldy Highlights: 10.00pm, May 15 – ITV4 Thursday 16th May Round 2 – Durham Highlights: 10.00pm, May 17 – ITV4 Tuesday 21st May Round 3 – Stoke-on-Trent* Highlights: 10.00pm, May 22 – ITV4 Friday 24th May Round 4 – Aberystwyth Highlights: 10.00pm, May 25 – ITV4 Tuesday 28th May Round 5 – Torquay Highlights: 10.00pm, May 29 – ITV4 Thursday 30th May Round 6 – Colchester* Highlights: 10.00pm, May 31 – ITV4 Tuesday 4th June Round 7 – Redditch Highlights: 10.00pm, June 5 – ITV4 Thursday 6th June Round 8 – Canary Wharf Highlights: 10.00pm, June 7 – ITV4 Tuesday 11th June Round 9 – Woking* Highlights: 10.00pm, June 12 – ITV4 Thursday 13th June Round 10 – Aylsham* Highlights: 10.00pm, June 14 – ITV4 Friday 14th June Round 11 – Ipswich* Highlights: 10.00pm, June 15 – ITV4