Britain’s leading city centre cycle race Series for women gets underway this week, with Round One of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series from Stoke-on-Trent at 6pm on Tuesday (21st May).

One-year on from hosting the Grand Final of the 2012 Series, Stoke-on-Trent, home to Series sponsors Johnson Health Tech UK Ltd, hosts the opening round of the 2013 season.

Approaching 50 riders will take to the startline in Stoke-on-Trent City Centre including eight team entries from Matrix Fitness Racing Academy, Team CTC, Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team, VC St Raphael, Team MuleBar Girl – Sigma Sport, MG Maxifuel, Shutt Squadra Donne and Team Factory Hope Racing of defending champion Annie Simpson.

Joining Simpson on the start line will be 2011 Champion Helen Wyman plus former Johnson Health Tech GP Series race winners Harriet Owen, Hannah Barnes and Eileen Roe, in what promises to be the most competitive year yet for the Series. A number of winter team changes and the creation of new teams such as MG Maxifuel and Team CTC will add to what has already proved to be a highly competitive race Series in past years.

All of the top ten individual riders from the 2012 Series return with the aim of succeeding Simpson, while seven of the top ten finishers from each of this year’s Women’s National Road Series opening two rounds will take part, including Cheshire Classic winner Karla Boddy

Subsequent rounds take place at Colchester (Thursday 30th May), Redditch (Tuesday 4th June), Woking (Tuesday 11th June) and Aylsham, Norfolk (Thursday 13th June), with riders required to enter each event to be in contention for overall honours.

Two intermediate Sprints during each race will see riders competing for a Sprints Jersey, while the Matrix Fitness Race Academy will be looking to reclaim the team prize that they have taken in both of the first two editions of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series.

Alongside the women’s event, the men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series reaches Round Three in Stoke-on-Trent on Tuesday, with Team Raleigh enjoying a four-point lead at the top of the standings heading to The Potteries. The race gets underway at 7.30pm on the popular city centre course.

Highlights of both races will be shown on ITV4 at 10pm on Wednesday 22nd May.