SweetSpot, organisers of the Tour of Britain have announced the launch of the Tour Series, a 10-round criterium series that aims to bring elite racing to city centres across the UK in 2009.
The Tour Series will kick off in May and June and will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings following cycling-based activities during the same day.
Some of the venues currently in line to host a Tour Series event
are Darlington, Derby, Exeter, Milton Keynes, Southport, Stoke-on-Trent, Woking and York, with announcements regarding the final list of venues to be made in due course.
In 2009 the majority of teams taking part will be British professional teams, with special guest stars appearing at many of the races in the Tour Series.
The Tour Series will be televised, and the organisers are currently negotiating with a major terrestrial and a major satellite broadcaster to cover each round of the event with final broadcast details to be announced soon.
SweetSpot chief executive Hugh Roberts
says: “We are delighted to launch the Tour Series, which will provide a televised platform for the promotion of professional cycling in the UK, and will also promote the event venues and their own work to raise the profile of cycling in their town or city. We look forward to delivering an exciting series of events, and to providing inspiration for young people around the country.
“The Tour Series will be the culmination of a variety of cycling events in each venue, and we hope the festival of cycling created around the elite races will help to attract new people to the sport and promote cycling as a healthy, sustainable pastime and mode of transport.”
Technical director Mick Bennett added: “I’m very happy to see a return to professionally structured, dynamic town and city centre racing, bringing a vibrant and lively atmosphere to towns and cities
across the UK next summer.
In the 1980’s, city centre racing was responsible for an upsurge in the British road cycling scene, and I’m confident that the Tour Series can have a similar effect, and will hopefully help to identify and launch the next generation of British riders.”