British Cycling has today announced the dates for the 2016 national road series, with details confirmed for the men’s Spring Cup, Grand Prix Series and Elite Circuit Series.
Following a successful debut on the calendar in 2015, the Chorley GP will kick off the 2016 British Cycling Spring Cup on 26 March and is the first of five races in the biggest series to date.
New to the Spring Cup is the inaugural Manx International GP in Douglas (Isle of Man) whilst the prestigious Lincoln Grand Prix makes a welcome return to the series. Cycle Wiltshire and the Tour of the Reservoir Two-Day complete the five-event series, which was won in 2015 by Steve Lampier (Team Raleigh GAC).
The British Cycling Grand Prix Series, won by Evan Oliphant (Team Raleigh GAC) in 2015, begins in Stafford on 2 July. With Stockton hosting the British Cycling National Road Championships in 2016, the series is completed by the Ryedale GP, Grand Prix of Wales, Leicester Castle Classic and a new race in Manchester, more details of which will be announced at a later date.
The British Cycling Elite Circuit Series, won this year by Jon Mould (One Pro Cycling), will see criterium racing return to seven events over four weeks, with rounds in Otley, Stafford, Beverley, Chepstow, Abergavenny (Wales Open Criterium), Sheffield and the series finale in Colne.
The 2015 national road series attracted an unprecedented audience with over 440,000 tuning into highlights of the Spring Cup, Grand Prix Series and Elite Circuit Series on British Eurosport, demonstrating the growing appetite of British fans for domestic racing.
British Cycling’s cycle sport and membership director, Jonny Clay, said: "We’re excited to confirm an extended calendar of men’s elite domestic road series events for 2016. With a calendar comprising popular established races and some fantastic new events, we can expect to see an entertaining year of racing for new and existing fans of the sport.
"The appetite for top-level domestic racing is as high as it’s ever been and with the work we’ve done to increase the standard of these events we can only expect to see the audiences increase again in 2016."