Woking will welcome the return of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the fifth year running this June.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Woking and local sponsors of the forthcoming Pearl Izumi Tour Series welcomed professional cyclists from Team IG Sigma Sport, James Moss and Peter Hawkins, who wheeled into Woking today [22 April] to celebrate the 50-day countdown to the event on Tuesday 11 June 2013.

Leading the pack to greet James and Peter were representatives from this year’s local presenting sponsors – Jason Kinsella from Serco, Gill Johnson from Skanska and Chioma Ibe from Woking Shopping.

The launch event, held at St John the Baptist School in Woking, was also attended by students who were treated to a fascinating behind-the-scenes talk and Q&A session by James and Peter about life as professional cyclists.

The newly named men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series and the women’s Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series will return to the streets of Woking Town Centre on Tuesday 11 June for the fifth year running. Once again, the streets of Woking Town Centre will be transformed into a high-speed, professional circuit where top-class cyclists from across the world will thrash it out at speeds of around 30mph to gain pole-position on the coveted Tour Series podium.

In the lead up to the professional races, local schoolchildren, residents and businesses will have the opportunity to become ‘Kings and Queens of the road’ by taking part in the famous Community Races. Topping off the ‘biketastic’ afternoon will be the Free Wheel session which is open to everyone on wheels! This freestyle, fun event is open to all non-motorised wheels – bikes, trikes, kiddie trailers, tandems and unique wheels – and there’s also a chance to win the special prize of the ‘Best Dressed Wheeler’.

Talking about the forthcoming event, Cllr Michael Smith, Mayor of Woking, said: “Last year’s Tour Series event attracted 8,000 spectators to the town with a further 150,000 people tuning in to ITV4 to watch all the action unfold on Woking’s circuit. This year, Woking will play host to Round Nine of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series and Round Three of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series.

“Not only does this high-profile event showcase some of the UK’s top professional cyclists, which will inspire cycling enthusiasts and future home-grown professionals, but also it firmly stamps Woking on the map as a top-class cycling venue. Without the financial support of our sponsors, hosting this type of event would not be possible. So, we must extend our thanks to the companies who have generously contributed.

“I am also delighted to confirm the return of the much-loved Community Races where local people have opportunities to test out the track and soak up the fun, family-friendly atmosphere.”

To allow the event to take place, the usual road closures will start from 10am through to midnight on the day of the race. Key routes into and around the town will be closed to motor vehicles and diversions put in place, so that the streets of Woking Town Centre can be converted into a professional race circuit.

To register for the Community Races and for more information about The Pearl Izumi Tour Series, including road closures, circuit map and race day schedule, visit www.celebratewoking.info