British Cycling has today announced the dates for the 2015 National Road Series, with details confirmed for all rounds of the men’s Elite Road Series, Elite Circuit Series and the Women’s National Road Series.
The 2015 race calendar will look to build on a landmark 2014 season which saw the domestic series attract a huge following, benefitting from the excitement of major international events such as the Tour de France, Tour of Britain and the Women’s Tour.
Defending champions Yanto Barker and Nicola Juniper will look to start their defence of their Elite Road Series titles in Chorley and Edmundbyers respectively as the profile of the domestic calendar continues to grow.
Coverage of the 2014 season on British Eurosport TV secured a combined viewing audience of over 400,000, while highlights published on YouTube and web reports on the British Cycling website attracted on online audience of over 100,000.
Heightened interest in the sport bodes well for the future of domestic racing according to British Cycling’s director of cycle sport and membership, Jonny Clay, who is delighted with the make-up of the 2015 season:
He said: “The appetite for top-level domestic racing has rarely been higher in this country and it is with great excitement that we confirm the dates for the 2015 British Cycling National Road Series.
“Over half a million viewers watched or read about this year’s events while tens of thousands more gathered at the roadside as events unfolded live.
“The 2015 season will again be broadcast on various platforms and we’re confident that the improvements we’re making to the domestic road calendar will continue to increase competition and conditions for riders, while also entertaining new and existing fans of the sport.”
As a new event to the calendar, the Chorley GP will host the opening round of the Elite Road Series in April before the Spring Cup schedule moves to Edmundbyers and Wiltshire respectively. There will be no Spring Cup event in Lincoln this year as the county will be hosting the 2015 National Road Championships in June.
The second part of the Elite Road Series – incorporating the Grand Prix Series – will then start in Shugborough in July with the Stafford Kermesse before heading to the Stockton Cycling Festival for the Stockton Grand Prix. Riders will then head to Ampleforth, Abergavenny and Leicester across the rest of the series.
The winner of the 2014 Elite Road Series, Yanto Barker, said: "The atmosphere on the roadside was incredible throughout 2014 and it is great to see the series mapped out for 2015.
"Winning the 2014 Elite Road Series was a very special moment for me and capped a great season for the team. There are some great races coming up in 2015 and I can’t wait to get the new season underway in Chorley in April."
The National Women’s Road Series will be spread over nine rounds, starting on 11 April at the Tour of the Reservoir in Edmundbyers. The rounds then span the country throughout the summer with races in Hillingdon, Clitheroe, Otley and Essex before culminating in a season-ending event in Ampleforth.
The winner of the 2014 Women’s National Road Series, Nicola Juniper, said: “The standard of racing was so high throughout 2014 so it was a huge honour to end the season as National Road Series champion.
"I’m sure the competition will only get stronger in 2015 though, so I’m looking forward to training hard over the winter to make sure I’m ready to compete and defend my title with my new team."
Yorkshire will host the opening round of the British Cycling Elite Circuit Series with the Otley GP sure to draw huge crowds once again after fans turned out in their thousands on the eve of the Grand Depart in Leeds earlier this year.
The Stafford Grand Prix then makes its return to the Elite Circuit Series - having last appeared in 2012 - before the Series moves around the country on a weekly basis throughout July and August with events in Stockton on Tees, Colne, Sheffield, Beverly, Chepstow and Abergavenny.
Full dates and locations for 2015 are published on the British Cycling National Road Series homepage.