Location: Salisbury, Wiltshire
Event: 27th August 2011
British Cycling has revealed the route of the professional road race element to August Bank Holiday's inaugural Twinings Pro-Am Tour cycling weekend in Wiltshire.
The town of Wilton, three miles to the west of Salisbury will be the base for the event with a circuit that will see the race pass through the town a total of 10 times before the deserving winner takes to the winners podium. Sundays road race comes hot on the heels of Saturdays sportive rides that start and finish in Salisbury itself
On Sunday 28th August the best professional riders in the UK will line up at midday in Wilton, before them 101 miles of tough racing on a course designed to deliver a worthy winner in this, the newest of British Cycling's Premier Calendar series. Over the course of the race the riders will take on two different circuits, the first, a longer circuit that traces Fovant Down and rides in the Shadow of the famous Fovant Badges, a series of regimental insignia carved into the chalk downs, the second a shorter and flatter circuit that will offer a last opportunity to reel in any breakaways before the finish.
Major UK teams have pledged their support for the event with this years dominant domestic force Rapha Condor Sharp one of the first to announce their squad and key UCI Continental team rivals Motorpoint, Endura, Raleigh and SigmaSport-Specialized all entering teams in what for many will be a final run out before September's Tour of Britain.
Also in the race will be 100%ME, the Great Britain Under 23 academy squad for whom the race will be a final test before one of their key objectives for the year, the Tour de L'Avenir, the under 23 version of the Tour de France.
The course in more detail:
The Big Lap
Starting and finishing in Wilton the longer 17 mile circuit will tackled by the bunch four times, beginning with a rolling road out to Fovant past the Fovant Badges before turning left after the village itself to tackle the main obstacle of the lap, Fovant Down, a deceptively long and sapping climb that will likely thin out the bunch and offer a springboard for attackers in the early laps of the race. From the top of the climb the race descends toward Broad Chalke and Bishopstone where narrower roads will encourage attacking riding as the race approaches the smaller climb of Windwhistle before returning to Wilton to complete the lap.
After completing four laps of the longer circuit and with eight climbs and 68 miles in their legs the race will move onto a shorter and flatter finishing circuit that shares its initial phase with the big lap before turning left just after Barford St Martin to trace a parallel route back toward Wilton. Any breakaway groups will need a substantial lead on this circuit to be out of sight of the main bunch and stand any chance of retaining their lead till the finish, the long straight roads and flatter profile enabling any teams that still have strength in numbers at this stage to control the main bunch. The finishing circuit will be tackled a total of 6 times, giving the crowd in Wilton a total of 10 opportunities to see the race.
Speaking about the event British Cycling's Cycle Sport and Membership director Jonny Clay was pleased to see this latest round of the Premier Calendar make inroads into the South of the UK: "We've worked hard to make this event happen both locally and nationally, bringing on board a new sponsor, working with the local authorities and police to obtain the necessary permissions and cooperation that have enabled the weekend to happen.
"I'm pleased we've formed these new partnerships and shown it's possible to run events of this stature in this part of the country. I hope the Twinings Pro-Am becomes a template for people to deliver more events like this that reach cyclists of all ages and abilities, representing who we are as an organisation and giving people yet more reasons to join British Cycling"
Entries for the Saturday Sportives at the Twinings Pro-Am Tour are still open so there's still time to get involved in the inaugural event. Head to www.twiningstour.com for more info or, if you're a British Cycling Member you can enjoy a 20% discount on the normal price of entry.