A spectacular route in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket area will showcase Scotland’s capital and provide a stern test for Britain’s top male and female riders during The Pearl Izumi Tour Series this May.

Edinburgh’s city centre streets will be transformed into a cycling race track as Scotland welcomes round six of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series on 29 May. The fast-paced race – brought to Edinburgh by SweetSpot, EventScotland and the City of Edinburgh Council – will see some of Britain’s top professional teams competing on a challenging course, which includes cobbles, hairpin bends and a tough sharp climb.

Starting in the iconic Grassmarket in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, the peloton will race up the cobbled Victoria Street climb onto George IV Bridge before heading south past the National Library of Scotland and over the famous Cowgate.

Riders will pass the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street and turn at the statue of Greyfriars Bobby at the top of Candlemaker Row before speeding back down to the Grassmarket to complete the lap. A map of the circuit can be found at the bottom of this article.

Earlier in the day, Edinburgh will also host round three of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix, which will see some of Britain’s best domestic women’s teams. There will also be a number of lower category races, which will give aspiring local club riders the chance to race on the same course as the pro-teams.

Riders James McCallum (NFTO); David Lines, Jen Taylor, Eileen Roe and Jane Barr (all Starley Primal) were joined by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Festivals and Events Champion Steve Cardownie to announce the route in the Grassmarket.

James McCallum, NFTO Pro Cycling: “It’s brilliant to have city centre racing back in the capital once again and The Pearl Izumi Tour Series back in Scotland. The Edinburgh public have been wanting cycling back on their doorstep and now they have it.

“Being a local boy it’s a massive motivation to put on a great show for the Scottish crowd, of which I’m sure will turn out in their thousands.”

Eileen Roe, Starley Primal Pro Cycling: “I’ve been hooked on the Series ever since my first win in Colchester in 2012 & look forward to racing in front of massive noisy crowds or catching it on ITV4.

“Criterium racing is a brilliant night of action, noise & having one in the capital of Scotland is very special, especially as it’s on a circuit that’s one of the hardest in the Series & defiantly not for the faint hearted! A night to remember is on the cards! One that I cannot wait for already!”

Below – James McCallum, Eileen Roe, Jane Barr, Jen Taylor and David Lines will give home fans plenty to cheer on come Thursday 29 May on the Grassmarket

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I’m delighted that The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is visiting Edinburgh this year. It will be a fantastic opportunity for people to see Britain’s top cyclists go head to head against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, and will provide families with a fun day out in the Capital.

“As a Council, we pledge to devote 5% of our transport budget on provision for cyclists so this event will complement this commitment enormously. I’m sure our residents will join in their thousands to make the Edinburgh leg of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series a huge success.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and with The Pearl Izumi Tour Series, we will bring quality bike racing to the city centre streets of our capital city. This is a technical, challenging route, which will excite the riders and create an incredible spectacle for fans lining the streets.”

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