Motherwell will welcome Britain’s leading women cyclists on Tuesday (17 May) as the televised Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series gets underway with Round One in North Lanarkshire at 1730.

It will mark the second successive year that Motherwell has hosted the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, coming as a part of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series event, which will also see the elite men in action at 1930, and highlights shown on ITV4 on Wednesday (18 May) evening at 1900.

Leading the way will be reigning champions Podium Ambition presented by Club La Santa, who have won the Series in each of the past two years, and with the Series rules being amended to focus on the teams, securing a hat trick of titles is an important aim for the team who boast Katie Archibald and Dame Sarah Storey among their squad.

Commenting on the Series, team manager Barney Storey said; "Podium Ambition Pro Cycling p/b Club La Santa are really pleased to be defending our title in the Matrix Fitness GP Series this year. Having won the team title for the last two seasons, we are even more delighted this will become the focal point of the women's series. 

“As in previous years the team classification will be our aim and with strong competition from other teams, this will be one of the toughest series so far. We are looking forward to being as consistent as possible throughout the series, to defend our team title."

A line-up of ten other teams will be pitched against the Podium Ambition team, led by fellow international UCI team Drops Cycling, who will be led in Motherwell by Alice Barnes, fresh from her victory in Sunday’s Lincoln Grand Prix and Ellie Dickinson, who secured the National Junior Road Race title in the same event.

""Alongside them in Motherwell will be 2012 Matrix Fitness GP Series individual champion Annie Simpson (pictured), one of a trio of former champions racing, with 2014 victor Eileen Roe making a one-off appearance on home roads and last year’s individual champion Nikki Juniper leading the brand new Team Ford EcoBoost, which also contains Commonwealth Games medallist and 2015 Croydon race winner Charline Joiner.

Team Jadan Weldtite could also provide spectators in Motherwell with some home riders to get behind, with Stirling duo Rhona Callander and Jenny Holl among their possible contenders.

Team WNT will be led by Irish Road Race Champion Lydia Boylan, while making their Matrix Fitness GP Series debuts will be Team Breeze, the British Cycling women’s academy squad who will head to Motherwell with some of their stars of the future, including Annasley Park, Emily Kay and Mel Lowther.

The full list of teams who will race in all rounds of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series are:

•    Aprire HSS Hire
•    Drops Cycling Team
•    Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Club
•    Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa
•    Sunsport Velo
•    Team Breeze
•    Team Footon Velosport
•    Team Ford EcoBoost
•    Team Jadan Weldtite
•    Team WNT
•    Velo Schils Interbike

""

Each team will field up to five riders in the Motherwell race, alongside half a dozen individual entries for an expected field of between 50 and 60 riders.  Among the individual entries with be Scottish Cycling Performance Plan athlete Neah Evans.

The women’s race gets underway at 1730, lasting for 45-minutes during which time riders will complete around 20 laps of racing.

Following the Motherwell event the remaining rounds of the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series will take place in Redditch (Thursday 26 May), Stoke-on-Trent (Thursday 2 June), Stevenage (Monday 6 June), Croydon (Tuesday 7 June) and Portsmouth (Thursday 9 June).

Both Stevenage and Portsmouth will be new events on the calendar, while Stoke-on-Trent’s round comes as the city celebrates being European City of Sport in 2016.  Highlights of all the races will be shown as a part of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series programmes on ITV4 following each race.

""