Imperial Winter Series
Published: 30 November 2013
Preview: Lucy Collins
Photo: Dave Reed
The Imperial Winter Series returns on Saturday December 7 2013 with for an 11-week run at West London’s favourite Hillingdon circuit.
Imperial Cycles, the exciting new West London race oriented shop, is the title sponsor of this classic series now in its 15th year, the last seven run under the Imperial Racing Team banner.
The series now comprises three races each day, starting with the ever popular fourth category men – and with a full field of 65 riders already entered for the first race this promises to be as hard fought as ever.
Places are obviously going to be limited so early entry is recommended. There’s also the opportunity every week for fourth cats with enough points to move up to take their chances in the Elite race!
There’s huge excitement around the explosion in women’s cycling and Imperial are committed to recognising this demand so running alongside the fourth category race will be a new event – a women’s go-race - an opportunity for novice and fourth category female riders to try their hand at racing without the need for a license or pressure of gaining points.
So that they’re not left out, the experienced women riders are encouraged to ride in the men’s events (down a category if they wish) and there will also be an all-category one-off Women’s Championship race on New Year’s Day.
The main event is also re-vamped with the Elite and category one and two riders being joined by the thirds for a single series race of one hour plus five laps. Acknowledging that the thirds will have their work cut out to get points against the top riders, Imperial have agreed a special dispensation with British Cycling for thirds to secure their own points.
Imperial are expecting big fields for this; this race was the founding event for the series and remains extremely popular both with a hard core of riders returning year after year and those newcomers who focus on it for a season.
The success of Imperial Racing Team and its winter series provided the catalyst for the formation of Imperial Cycles (www.imperialcycles.co.uk). The shop is based in Isleworth and opened its doors in August. Primarily aimed at the sporting rider, it clearly has a very strong link to the winter series. The shop itself is first and foremost a workshop but also offers racing frames and bikes from Sarto, one of the only remaining truly handmade frame sets from Italy.
Imperial Cycles becomes the principal sponsor of the series, sponsoring the fourth category with a weekly prize draw of a free full bike service worth £120 and a weekly winner’s prize for the third category race - £20 voucher to spend in the shop. You can follow Imperial Cycles on Facebook and Twitter