THE REDDITCH round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series got off to a flying start last week with its official launch in the Kingfisher Centre.
The town welcomes the return of elite cycling on Thursday, May 26 as the tour races back into Redditch for rounds two and four of the televised series.
It will be the fifth successive summer Redditch has played host and elite riders Jacob Tipper of the Pedal Heaven team and Jo Tindley of Team WNT were on hand to join organisers in the centre’s Worcester Square on Thursday (April 14) for the launch.
The races will be on the usual 1.4 kilometre circuit based around the Church Green West finish area, including the gruelling climb of Unicorn Hill on every lap.
This year Redditch hosts round two of the women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series – won last year by multiple Team GB Olympic gold medallist and World champion Laura Trott – and round four 4 of the men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series, won by Jon Mould in a sensational finish last year.
The event is already shaping up to be a huge – and free – community day for the town with Samba bands, dance troupes, a basketball demonstration and gymnastics display, music and entertainment as well as face painting and much more – plus crazy cyclist on stilts Steve Kaos all lined up.
There will also be the ‘Tour Village’ on Church Green for race-goers to visit featuring a host of special interest groups.
The cycling fun will start off with a series of schools races before building towards a cycle challenge for local businesses with things starting to get serious as cycling clubs take to the road to do battle with ‘hot lap’ and relay races.
The one-hour women’s race is scheduled to start at 6pm followed by the men’s at 7.30pm with riders also available for autographs and ‘selfies’.
Meanwhile on Sunday, October 9 the Tour Ride mass participation event returns to the county, the official sportive of the Tour of Britain cycle race, which take place on a challenging ride that includes the Malvern Hills, and starts and finishes in Worcester.