Portsmouth will host the final round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the first time on Thursday 9 June, as action packed, televised professional cycle racing returns to the city after a six year absence.

Riders from 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series champions Madison Genesis will be joining Series mascot ToBi at the Pearl Izumi store at Gunwharf Quays to not only celebrate Britain’s leading race Series returning to Portsmouth, but to help celebrate Gunwharf Quay’s 15th birthday during Saturday 20 February.

Cllr Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: “It is fantastic that Portsmouth has attracted yet another major sporting event and reiterates our commitment to promoting cycling in the city. This will help raise the profile of cycling in the city along with the numerous public cycling events we hold, such as the Sky Ride Local guided rides and Pedal Portsmouth. It’s a superb opportunity for residents to watch professional athletes competing on their doorsteps and will clearly demonstrate the city’s continued passion for hosting the Tour de France.”

Kellie Parsons, marketing director at series sponsors Madison, said: “The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is a great event and every year seems to be getting bigger and better. Last year was particularly special for us, as Madison Genesis won the series in an immensely exciting final stage in Bath. Every year the standard of the riders goes up and knowing just how much hard work all the teams put in, we can’t wait to see some top quality racing.  It is also very exciting to be returning to Portsmouth which provides an amazing venue to host a stage of the series.”

Colin Wilding, General Manager at Gunwharf Quays, said: “It’s great to see the Pearl Izumi Tour Series returning once again to Portsmouth. This final round will provide a great opportunity for us to showcase what the city has to offer and show our support for Madison Genesis.”

The final round, which will also include the final event in the women’s series, will take place on a circuit in the centre of Portsmouth based upon the Guildhall Square and include a range of support races and activities during the day.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series last raced in Portsmouth in 2010 on a Southsea circuit, when Ian Bibby took the individual honours and his Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta squad the team victory on the way to that season’s overall title (see picture).

Last year’s Series began at Ryde on the Isle of Wight, with riders from two of the leading teams visiting the Pearl Izumi store at Gunwharf Quays on the day before the race.  The outlet store is Pearl Izumi’s only UK location, stocking running, cycling and triathlon apparel and footwear.

Details of the rounds for the 2016 Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be announced at the iceBike* show on Saturday 27 February, with the opening event taking place at Ramsey on the Isle of Man on Thursday 12 May as a part of the Isle of Man Cyclefest presented by the Isle of Man Bank.  Aberystwyth will also host a race, for the sixth successive year, as a part of the Aber Cycle Festival on Friday 27 May.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is unique in world cycling, focussing on a team concept that see’s Britain’s professional cycling teams competing to be the fastest in an action packed, one-hour circuit race.  Highlights of every round are screened on ITV4 and available on demand via the ITV Player.

Pictured below – Ian Bibby is first across the line in Portsmouth in 2010 to help his Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta team to the victory.