Britain’s leading male and female cyclists will race on one of the country’s fastest town centre circuits this May Bank Holiday, as the OVO Energy Tour Series returns to Stevenage on Monday 28 May.

It will mark the third successive year that Stevenage has hosted the ITV4-televised event, with elite men and women’s races coming at the end of a full day of cycling events on the one-kilometre Old Town circuit.

Rory Townsend from the Canyon Eisberg team and Team OnForm’s Ione Johnson joined dignitaries from Stevenage Borough Council, and Hertfordshire County Council, who are supporting the event, at the Finish line to officially launch the event for 2018.

Councillor Richard Henry, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Leisure said: “I’m thrilled that the OVO Energy Tour Series is coming back to the Old Town on Whitsun Bank Holiday Monday. Over the last two years, Stevenage people and visitors of all ages have been captivated by the exhilarating races and I’m looking forward to more of the same this year.

“The arrival of the OVO Energy Tour Series in Stevenage signals the start of this year’s Stevenage Cycling Festival, which celebrates our 25 miles of cycle track and promotes the benefits of fresh air and exercise to people of all ages and abilities. At this year’s Tour we’ll have even more community events taking place so if you’re coming along then bring your bike and warm up the circuit before the professional riders take to the track.”

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Watch highlights from the Tour Series’ visit to Stevenage in 2017.

The OVO Energy Tour Series is unique, with the focus in both the men and women’s competition on the teams, who battle for overall title based on the performance of all five of their riders in each event.

Commenting on the return of the Series to Stevenage, Race Director Mick Bennett said, “Stevenage’s Old Town provides a beautiful setting for an OVO Energy Tour Series round, so we’re looking to returning once again on 28 May. We’ve always had great support from local residents and we’re hoping that they come out in force to support the event once again this year. With a men’s and women’s race forming part of the night’s schedule, it promises to be a fantastic evening of sporting action!”

Last year’s men’s race was won by Madison Genesis, whose rider Connor Swift (above) claimed a memorable solo individual victory. Meanwhile, Drops demonstrated their series-long dominance in the women’s event, as Rebecca Durrell and Lucy Shaw finished one-two to help them win the night’s team prize.

“It will be great to head back and race again in Stevenage,” said Connor Swift. “Obviously the town has some very good memories for me; not just for the result, but also because of the support I received on the night. The course was lined with fans and the reception I got coming down the finishing straight was unreal! The local organisation also took special care of me; on the night I was presented with a special jersey from the town. It’s that kind of personal touch that makes these events all the more memorable for the riders and it’s excellent news that we’re going to be returning.”

Rebecca Durrell, who now rides for Storey Racing, added: “It’s great to hear that Stevenage is once again hosting a round of the OVO Energy Tour Series in 2018. The circuit is flat and fast, which makes it really exciting for both us riders and the spectators!”

Further details of the Stevenage event, including the full timetable for Monday 28 May will be published in the coming weeks.