JLT Condor return as defending champions to the ninth edition of the televised Tour Series. Taking place entirely through the month of May, seven teams will race in ten events held across the country.
The series kicks off on Tuesday May 9 in Redditch and concludes in Stevenage on Bank Holiday Monday, May 29. For the first time, there will be two rounds on a Saturday evening: a new circuit of Bath on May 20 and Durham on May 27. For 2017 new venues in London’s Wembley Park, Northwich, and Aberdeen have been added.
What is criterium racing
Riders race in a type of event format known as a criterium. These frenetic races of roughly an hour are raced on the road but on a short twisty course in the city centre. The courses feature hairpins, steep climbs and tight turns. The pace of the race is fast from the gun, expect to see riders jostling for position and plenty of sprinting.
The first rider over the line is the winner.
How the Tour Series works
The Pearl Izumi Tour Series runs on a unique format where a team’s collective performance is equally as important as an individual win.
Although riders will be looking to cross the line first on the night, the teams’ objectives will be to complete the racing with the highest possible number of team points by finishing with the lowest cumulative time between the five riders.
Every rider in the race receives their own unique finish time, all tracked by a transponder on their bike. If a rider is lapped by the field or cannot continue in the race they receive a time penalty.
The team with the greatest number of points at the end of the series will be crowded Overall Series Winners, a prize that JLT-Condor has taken on three occasions and the only team to do so.
From punchy cobbled climbs of Durham to the pan flat streets of Stevenage, the Pearl Izumi Tour Series brings a large variety of different styles of circuit, therefore team selection will play a big role in the overall success of the team.
Racing begins at 7.30pm each evening
Tuesday May 9: Redditch
Thursday May 11: Stoke-on-Trent
Friday May 12: Northwich
Tuesday May 16: Wembley Park
Thursday May 18: Croydon
Saturday May 20: Bath
Tuesday May 23: Motherwell
Thursday May 25: Aberdeen
Saturday May 27: Durham
Monday May 29: Stevenage
Watch the racing on ITV4
UK channel, ITV4 broadcasts on-hour highlights after each round. If you miss it on ITV4, watch it for free at anytime on ITV Hub via the app, website or TV on-demand service.
10th May: Highlights from Round 1 – 7.00pm
12th May: Highlights from Round 2 – 7.00pm
15th May: Highlights from Round 3 – 7.00pm
17th May: Highlights from Round 4 – 7.00pm
19th May: Highlights from Round 5 – 7.00pm
22nd May: Highlights from Round 6 – 7.00pm
24th May: Highlights from Round 7 – 22.30pm
26th May: Highlights from Round 8 – 22.00pm
29th May: Highlights from Round 9 – 22.00pm
30th May: Highlights from Round 10 – 22.00pm
The Team and Riders
JLT Condor are the reigning Tour Series champions. The team have won the series overall in 2011, 2014 and 2016.
New signing, Ian Bibby showed early form, winning the prestigious Mitchelton Bay Classic in January. The three round criterium series takes place in Melbourne, a former National criterium champion, Bibby favours courses which feature climbs.
Welshman, Jon Mould has won the most Tour Series races in the history of the event. He is able to position himself well in the closing moments of a race and has a fast sprint.
Ed Clancy, Alex Frame and Brenton Jones all have criterium experience. Powerful on flat circuits, the trio can push the pace of the race extremely high in order to put their competitors in the red.
John Herety has named eleven riders from which he can make his selection. Five riders take part in the race each night.
Find out more on the Tour Series website