Worcestershire will welcome the return of elite cycling this May as the Pearl Izumi Tour Series races back into Redditch on Thursday 26 May, for Round Four the televised Series.

It will mark the fifth successive Summer that Redditch and Worcestershire have welcomed Britain’s leading televised men’s and women’s elite race series, with the 2016 event being launched in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre in the town on Thursday.

Elite riders Jacob Tipper of the Pedal Heaven team and Jo Tindley of Team WNT joined organisers in the the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, who are proud to support the Redditch event.

“The Pearl Izumi Tour Series takes place on our doorstep and it is great to see the crowds line the circuit and cheer on the riders,” says Ken Williams, General Manager of the Kingfisher Shopping Centre. “The race takes place in the heart of Redditch and we are delighted to once again be the leading sponsor for this event.”

The races will take place on the same 1.4-kilometre circuit based around the Church Green West finish area, including the climb of Unicorn Hill on every lap. Each of the elite races will tackle multiple laps of the spectator friendly town centre circuit, providing a great chance for fans to get close to the action.

A range of support events and activities will take place in the town throughout the afternoon, before the elite racing begins at 18:00 with Round Two of the women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series.

John Smith, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways said, “I am delighted to welcome the Pearl Izumi Tour Series back to Redditch which is now one of the most established circuits on the Tour. I’m looking forward to enjoying the return of elite cycling to Worcestershire which demonstrates the County Council’s commitment to showcasing world class talent.”

Six men’s teams will compete in every round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, being joined at selected rounds by guest teams.  They are led by defending Champions Madison Genesis, alongside JLT Condor presented by Mavic, NFTO, Pedal Heaven, Team Raleigh GAC and Team WIGGINS.

Eleven teams will compete in the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series race in Redditch, including Team Ford EcoBoost of reigning champion Nikki Juniper and Commonwealth Games Silver medallist Charline Joiner and reigning champions Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa.

The women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series race in Redditch will begin at 18:00 with the men’s professional race at 19:30.

Highlights of the Redditch event will be shown on ITV4 on the evening of Saturday 28 May and available via catch-up services with the ITV Player.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series isn’t the only high-profile cycling event to be held in Worcestershire in 2016, Sunday 9 October will see the return of the Tour Ride mass participation event, the official sportive of the Tour of Britain cycle race.

Taking place on 45, 70 and 100-mile routes, amateur cyclists can round off their 2016 season taking on a challenging ride that includes the Malvern Hills, starting and finishing in Worcester, including the chance to ride under the Tour of Britain’s finish arch.

For more information and to sign-up for your ride, please visit www.tourride.co.uk 

You can relive the action from the Redditch event in 2015 with the below highlights.