With just under four weeks to go until Britain’s fastest cycling teams race into action on the Isle of Wight, the countdown to the Pearl Izumi Tour Series has begun.

On Thursday, 14th May, the Island will host the first round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series – a leading televised cycle race – with the UK’s leading cyclists competing in a fast-paced road race around a 1.2km street circuit in Ryde.

The town centre will be transformed into a high-speed, professional circuit where top-class cyclists will battle it out at speeds of around 30mph in front of packed crowds to gain pole-position on the coveted winners’ podium.

It is expected to attract a host of top names with the brand new Team WIGGINS, formed by 2012 Tour de France winner and Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins, the ONE Pro Cycling team of England cricketer Matt Prior and Olympic Champion Ed Clancy all billed to compete.

It was in January that Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW), the Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads made the announcement that after months of negotiation, they had been successful in securing this prestigious sporting event – one of the UK’s leading televised cycle races – to the Island.

Visit Isle of Wight is using this opportunity to promote Bicycle Island as “the home of cycle holidays”, and encourage visitors to travel around the Island more sustainably on bikes.

Races and activities will be held throughout the day from 12.30pm for local school children aged 10 and 11, followed by an afternoon of support races with keen local cyclists, ahead of the professionals taking to the circuit from 3pm for the Tour Series Team Time Trial.

The exciting Tour Series Race starts at 7.30pm giving spectators a close-up view of the athletes as they race from the start/finish line on The Esplanade, then a challenging climb up Union Street before going along Cross and Melville Streets to the big downhill on Dover Street that heads back down to The Esplanade.

The Team Race, open to nine teams comprising of four cyclists, is a highly popular and competitive event. Registered entrants have the chance to ‘test their mettle’ around the circuit and against the clock. The team with the fastest lap times will be presented with winners’ medals on the professional podium.

Taking place at 10 venues around the UK in May and June, the star-studded sporting event will use a circular route around the town on Thursday, 14th May.   Hosting the first leg of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, the Isle of Wight is expecting crowds of up to 10,000 to come out and enjoy the race.

A series of Visit Isle of Wight advertisements promoting the race and the Island’s cycle holiday offer are live right now in influential sporting magazines, websites and on social media.

“David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “We’re delighted to have the first leg of this elite race series, which should provide a boost to the local economy with lots of visitors coming to watch the race.

“Additionally, the TV exposure on ITV4 will help us to showcase Bicycle Island across the UK as a premium cycle holiday destination.”

Councillor Shirley Smart, Isle of Wight Council Executive member for economy and tourism, said: “The Pearl Izumi Tour series is a wonderful opportunity for the Isle of Wight to showcase what we have to offer.

“The streets of Ryde, with the backdrop of stunning views of the Solent, will make for a superb location.

“When the 2011 NatWest Island Games were held on the Isle of Wight, residents gave the athletes a huge welcome in Ryde and I am sure we will see similar celebrations again.”

Paul Herbert, Island Roads Service Director said: “This is an important event for the Island not just on the day itself but for the potential it has to profile the Isle of Wight as a cycling destination.  We are working hard to ensure that the roads that form the race circuit in Ryde are in the best condition for the cyclists taking part and, at the same time, that we continue our work to improve roads across the Island for cyclists and indeed all road users for many years to come.”

Launched in 2009, 2015’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series – put together by the same team behind the organisation and promotion of the Tour of Britain – takes place in 10 town and city centres and is the only British domestic cycle race to be televised.

For more information about the Isle of Wight Pearl Izumi Tour Series, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk


Press contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to Editors

Images attached: (1) VIOW ad for use in cycling magazines (2) Riders in Action at 2014 Tour Series Round in Barrow – Copyright – Pearl Izumi Tour Series.

The link to the media accreditation process can be found at www.thetour.co.uk/press or reached directly via http://accreditation.thetour.co.uk    Please note that applications for Pearl Izumi Tour Series rounds should be made no later than 72-hours prior to the round which you wish to attend.

Round One                 Thursday 14 May        Ryde, Isle of Wight (including Team Time Trial)

Round Two                 Tuesday 19 May         Redditch

Round Three               Friday 22 May             Aberystwyth (including Hill Climb)

Round Four                 Tuesday 26 May         Motherwell

Round Five                 Thursday 28 May        Durham

Round Six                   Friday 29 May             Barrow

Round Seven              Tuesday 2 June          Croydon

Round Eight                Thursday 4 June         Canary Wharf

Round Nine                 Tuesday 9 June          Peterborough

Round Ten                  Thursday 11 June       Bath


The nine teams for the 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be JLT Condor presented by Mavic; Madison Genesis,  NFTO Pro Cycling, ONE Pro Cycling, Pedal Heaven RT, SportGrub Kuota; Team Raleigh – GAC; Team WIGGINS; and Velosure Starley Primal.  Joining them will be one guest team per round.

About The Pearl Izumi Tour Series

2015 will be the seventh season of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, a unique team based, televised city centre cycling series organised by SweetSpot Group Ltd, the company behind the organisation and promotion of The Tour of Britain and The Women’s Tour.  The Pearl Izumi Tour Series brings together the very best in British professional teams and riders, competing on town and city-centre circuits in front of packed crowds as a part of a full day of cycling activities.

SweetSpot is a sports marketing and events company specialising in the creation and execution of high quality, commercially successful, annual sporting events.

You can follow The Pearl Izumi Tour Series on Twitter @TourSeries #tourseries or Facebook or via the official website at www.tourseries.co.uk

For further press information, logos and images, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Peter Hodges              PR Manager               peterh@thetour.co.uk             01932 831 485

Grace Metcalf             PR Manager               grace@thetour.co.uk              01932 831 485


The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is being funded by VIOW and LSTF – the project which aims to improve and promote the Island’s sustainable transport network – with support from Island Roads, Ryde Town Council, Ryde Business Association, Southern Vectis and ferry operators Wightlink and Red Funnel.   For more information, go to  http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/the-pearl-izumi-tour-series-p1137591

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

To find out more about Bicycle Island, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk