The series gets underway in March, with three tough races – the Bikeline 2-Day in North Wales, the Girvan Stage Race in South West Scotland and the Tour of the Reservoir in County Durham – to ease the riders in. Each has a history of testing weather conditions and hard roads that should give an early season indication of form and fitness.
The first of two new races, the Chas Messenger 2-Day, follows, set in the rolling countryside of Buckinghamshire. This race, along with the other newcomer of the series – the Tour of Wessex – marks a welcome return to a broader geographical spread for the Premier Calendar.
It’s then the much loved Archer GP and Lincoln GP, followed by the Tour of Wessex, a unique combination of three days of high class racing and mass participation events. Based in Somerset, the start of each stage of the event will be closely followed by a mass participation ride. With plans to make it onto the international calendar in the near future, this is an event attracting a lot of interest
It’s then a trip to Northumberland for the Beaumont Trophy in June, followed in July with the Blackpool GP. The series wraps up with the the East Yorkshire Classic, based in the beautiful town of Beverley with its remarkable Minster; the Tour of Pendle, which digs deep into the tough hill country of East Lancashire; and the Richmond GP, which concludes the action on the rolling roads of North Yorkshire.
British Cycling’s Cycle Sport and Membership Director, Jonny Clay is pleased with the way the series is developing, saying: “Because of the quality of the events now pitching to be part of the Premier Calendar, we’ve already been able to raise the Grand Prix of Wales and East Midlands International CiCLE Classic to the status of stand-alone internationals, allowing us to create space in the series for new and upcoming events. With the continuation of our funding of Cycling.tv coverage of the series, both on-line and on Eurosport, we are seeing more sponsors becoming interested in supporting teams.”