Britain’s top professional cyclists are coming to Scotland in just over six weeks’ time.
The OVO Energy Tour Series heads north of the border for a pair of events, with Motherwell on Tuesday, 15 May, before the cyclists take to the streets of Aberdeen on Thursday, 17 May.
The OVO Energy Tour Series is Britain’s leading domestic televised race series, with a unique team-based format for both men and women’s teams. Taking place in ten town and city centre locations, The Tour Series will celebrate its tenth season in May 2018.
It has become an annual highlight of the domestic racing scene since its inaugural edition in 2009; previous competitors include Olympic gold medallists Laura Kenny, Joanna Rowsell, Ed Clancy and Dani King, as well as emerging talent such as junior World and European cyclo-cross champion Tom Pidcock.
New to the 2018 programme for Aberdeen is the addition of an elite women’s round of the OVO Energy Tour Series, which organisers will bring to the city following the success of last year’s men’s event.
Highlights of the Aberdeen race will be shown on ITV4 on Friday 18 May.
Aberdeen City Council co-leader councillor Jenny Laing said: ‘We are delighted that the OVO Energy Tour Series is set to return to Aberdeen. The inaugural Aberdeen event in 2017 was outstanding with people lining the streets to support both the community races and the amazing professional athletes.
‘Aberdeen is a dynamic city which offers a great deal for both residents and visitors. We are making a concerted effort to raise the city’s profile through our ambitious events programme and bringing The OVO Energy Tour Series to Aberdeen, in conjunction with EventScotland, will strengthen Aberdeen’s position as a must-visit destination for high-profile cultural and sporting events.
‘This leading cycling race is one of the first events in our ambitious summer programme and is part of our wider Aberdeen 365 Events Strategy, a City Centre Masterplan initiative, which will see events such as The OVO Energy Tour Series and Great Aberdeen Run bring the streets of the Granite City to life.’
Mick Bennett, race director of the OVO Energy Tour Series organisers SweetSpot, added: ‘We were treated to a beautiful sunny day and really exciting racing when we visited Aberdeen last year, so it makes perfect sense for the OVO Energy Tour Series to return to the city once again on 17 May.
‘The way everybody in Aberdeen has got behind the series’ visit was fantastic and I have no doubt that the local support will once again be brilliant, especially with the addition of an elite women’s race. 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!’
The OVO Energy Tour Series is a unique team event where Britain’s top professional cycling teams battle it out at every round for the right to be crowned Britain’s top team. The races take place at ten venues across the UK during a three-week period.
Further details of the Aberdeen event, including the city centre circuit that will be used by the elite riders will be announced in the coming weeks.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: ‘After the successful delivery of last year’s event, EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Aberdeen to bring the OVO Energy Tour Series back to the city for a second consecutive year. The local community really got behind the event and we expect the same again this year.
‘With a number of dedicated cycle routes throughout Scotland, including Aberdeen to Shetland, this will be a great opportunity to showcase what the region has to offer to a national TV audience of cycling enthusiasts.
‘The decision of the OVO Energy Tour Series to once again bring two rounds of the event to Scotland shows why we are the perfect stage for events.’
Details of the men and women’s teams for the OVO Energy Tour Series will be announced in early April.
Defending Champions JLT Condor and last year’s Aberdeen winners Canyon Eisberg are both set to compete again in the men’s event, while among the prospective women’s squads are international UCI teams Trek Drops (the 2017 champions) and the Storey Racing team of Britain’s most decorated Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey.
Highlights of every round of the OVO Energy Tour Series will be shown on ITV4, with programmes also available on demand via the ITV Hub.