The Pearl Izumi Cycling Tour Series 2016
Hello sports fans,
Last night I was in Stoke-on-Trent covering The Pearl Izumi Cycling Tour Series 2016, the only British domestic cycle race series with unique team based racing held within ten town and city centres and launched back in 2009. The highlights of the race can be seen on ITV4. What makes this series unique is when a team's rider crosses the line first it doesn't necessarily follow that the team wins the round. They get the honour and glory of the individual win, but the aim is for teams to complete the race in the lowest cumulative time with their five riders, making them the fastest team on the night.
In the Series there are nine teams battling it out across the ten rounds for the overall title and to be crowned the fastest and best team in Britain. Each round will also see guest teams going the race to bring local interest to the Series and provide them with the opportunity to race against the best in Britain. All teams register a squad of ten riders for the entire Pearl Izumi Tour series but only five can race in each round. This adds a tactical element to the series in which the Team Manager selects the best riders suited to each race, a rider that does well on the cobbled climb of Durham would not be suited to long straights of Canary Wharf. Each round consists of 60 minutes in duration and once the 60 minutes is reached the leading riders complete a further five laps to the finish.
The race started at 8:00pm and with such a beautiful evening there was a golden quality to the light at the start of the race before the sun started to set. The race had attracted a large number of supporters to watch the race and you could hear them as them banged on the crowd barrier boards as the riders passed through the start and finish area. Each lap was completed in approximately 2 minutes. The course had a long start and finish straight leading uphill before a left handed bend and then downhill under a bridge and to the left before technical tight bends. A few tight right and left bends brought the rider back to the start and finish straight. There are a few places to pass but riders needed to keep vigilant and tactically aware. We saw throughout the 60 minutes the gradual splintering of riders in to three pelotons. The pressure was relentless and as the 60 minutes came to a close there were only 4 riders at the start of the final 5 laps. One rider, Chris Lawless of Team JLT Condor P/B Mavic sprinted away from the leading peloton and maintained his lead all the way to the finish to take an Individual Win on the night.
The results for the evening and overall were:
My images for each day can be seen on the Action Plus Sports Images website which has been circulated to various news media for editorial use. If you wish to utilise any of the images please contact me.
Here are only a few of my images from the event:
Keywords: 2016, 2nd, Britain, Cycling, Izumi, June, Race Start, Racing, Road, Round 7, Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent, Tour, Tour Series
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