Premier Calendar series cut to six events

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Premier Calendar series cut to six events

The Premier Calendar series will consist of just six races in 2013.

Despite the success of British riders at WorldTour level, the number of Premier Calendar events has dwindled to its lowest number since the series’ inception in 1993.

And former professional Jonny Clay, now British Cycling’s cycle sport and membership director, recognises that the sport needs to develop at an elite domestic level.

“We’re in a fairly good place overall but we recognise that there are areas where the sport as a whole needs to progress, for example we would like there to be more top class road events,” said Clay, a team pursuit bronze medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

“We are doing the necessary work behind the scenes to create the conditions where that can happen and we’re willing to talk to any organiser, volunteer or commercial promoter who wants to have a dialogue about that.”

The Premier Calendar will kick off on April 27-28 with the two-day Tour of the Reservoir, ahead of the Lincoln GP on May  12 and the Beaumont Trophy on June 30.

The Stockton Festival of Cycling will then take place on July 7, with the Grand Prix of Wales on July 14 and, finally, the Ryedale GP on July 28.

Clay added: “For now there are a number of events on the calendar that have the potential to form part of a national road series in the next couple of years. We’ll be working informally with the top teams to ensure that those races are supported and their organisers have clarity over what they need to do to become part of a top-flight domestic calendar of racing in the future.

“I think what fans should expect to see in the next few seasons is an evolution of the calendar where we have a more diverse programme with a mixture of events that provide regular opportunities for top teams to compete on home soil and isn’t arbitrarily judged on the number of races within a given series each year.”

Meanwhile, the Elite Circuit Series has been revamped to be more compact, with the six races to take place over three weeks in an attempt to garner better support from the country’s UCI continental teams than in 2012.

The Women’s National Road Series will consist of nine events from April to July, while nine events will also make up the Junior National Road Series from March to August, and ten events will form the Youth National Road Series from April to September.

View details of all National Road Series races on the British Cycling website.

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