Scotland will host an entire week of the 2016 Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the first time this May, as both Motherwell and Edinburgh host rounds of Britain’s leading televised cycle race Series.

It will be the first time that Scotland has had two venues on the calendar for the Pearl Izumi Tour Series since the series began in 2009, coming on the back of last week’s announcement that the Tour of Britain would begin in Glasgow this September.

Motherwell will host Round Two on Tuesday 17 May before the Series returns to Edinburgh after a year’s absence for Round Three on Thursday 19 May.  As in 2015 Motherwell will also host a women’s race, which will be Round One of a newly expanded six-race calendar for Britain’s top women’s teams.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “I am delighted that the Pearl Izumi Tour Series will return for two stages in 2016, building upon an incredibly varied portfolio of both participation and spectator cycling events in Scotland this year. 

“Events such as this not only inspire people to become more active but also broadcast terrific imagery of Scotland to audiences internationally, reinforcing the county’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

Councillor Jim Robertson, Provost of North Lanarkshire, said, “We are very proud to host the Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the second year in Motherwell. Last year’s racing was tremendously exciting and the community turned out in huge numbers to support it.

“Hosting one of professional cycling’s top events reinforces that North Lanarkshire is a top sporting venue and we are looking forward to an even bigger turnout this year to welcome all the teams.”

In 2015 Madison Genesis took the win in Motherwell on their way to the overall title in the men’s Series, while in the women’s race Milngavie’s Katie Archibald took the individual win with Fife’s Eileen Roe third.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said, “Cycling is going from strength to strength in Edinburgh so to have the Pearl Izumi Tour Series return to the city after a two year absence is great news. It proved to be a really popular event back in 2014 and I’m sure the Edinburgh public will be out in force to show their support for the riders.”

The last time the Pearl Izumi Tour Series raced in Edinburgh there were spectacular individual wins for Jon Mould and Archibald again, while Team Raleigh were the team winners with a line-up including Scotsman Evan Oliphant.

Craig Burn, Chief Executive for Scottish Cycling, said, “Scottish Cycling is excited yet again this year to have the elite racing on our doorstep that the Pearl Izumi Tour Series brings. This time Scotland gets to host not just one but two stages of the tour, giving twice the opportunity to inspire those who do not cycle to ride, and those who do, to ride more.  

“Securing and staging elite racing and major events in Scotland is fundamental to achieving our Inspiration to participation strategy. We will continue to utilise events such as the Pearl Izumi Tour Series to build strategic partnerships with Scotland’s local authorities and other stakeholders to drive our wider cycling ambitions with regards to getting more people riding bikes, be it through local clubs, participation programmes, competition or social cycling.”

Motherwell hosted the Pearl Izumi Tour Series for the first time last May, while Edinburgh has hosted the Series once before, in 2014, based upon the Grassmarket. Additionally, the city welcomed a stage start of the Tour of Britain last year.  Further details of both events will be announced in the coming weeks, including a revised Edinburgh circuit.

Alongside Motherwell and Edinburgh, eight other venues will host the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, including Durham, Stoke-on-Trent and Ramsey on the Isle of Man, where the Series will begin.

As well as the venues, the six top British professional teams who will race at all ten events in 2016 have been confirmed, led by reigning Champions Madison Genesis.  Joining them at all events will be 2014 champions JLT Condor presented by Mavic, NFTO, Pedal Heaven, Team Raleigh GAC and Team WIGGINS.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is unique in world cycling, focussing on a team concept that sees 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.