The 2015 British Cycling Elite Road Series starts on Saturday 4 April with the inaugural Chorley Grand Prix in Lancashire.
Eleven teams will race for individual and team honours over eight races from April to August in two blocks of racing, the Spring Cup and the Grand Prix Series.
The Chorley Grand Prix, Tour of the Reservoir and Cycle Wiltshire Grand Prix make up the Spring Cup.
The Grand Prix Series incorporates the Stafford Kermesse, Stockton Festival of Cycling, Ryedale Grand Prix, Grand Prix of Wales and Leicester Castle Classic Kermesse.
How the series works
Riders are awarded points at each race in the series dependant on their finishing position - the higher the position the more points. The rider with the most points at the end of the eight races wins the title of Elite Road Series champion.
There are also team honours at stake. The scores of each team’s best three riders are added together and the squad with the highest total at the end of the series are crowned champions.
In addition, individual honours for the three-race Spring Cup and the five-race Grand Prix Series are awarded.
Yanto Barker (Team Raleigh GAC when he won the title, now of One Pro Cycling) is the defending Elite Road Series and Spring Cup champion while Team Raleigh are the reigning team champions. Grand Prix Series winner Russell Downing is racing for Cult Energy Pro Cycling, who do not compete in the Elite Road Series, meaning a new victor is guaranteed.
Six UCI Continental teams and five British Cycling Elite National teams will compete in the Elite Road Series.
UCI Continental teams
Team Raleigh GAC
One Pro Cycling
British Cycling Elite National teams
Velosure Starley Primal
Catford CC Equipe/Banks
Pedal Heaven RT
Polypipe Cycling Team
SportGrub Kuota Cycling Team
Team Raleigh GAC may be defending team champions but reigning individual winner Yanto Barker has made a switch to the newly-formed One Pro Cycling.
Barker won February’s Perfs Pedal Race as part of a One Pro Cycling 1-2-3-4 and also has second-place finishes at the Jock Wadley Memorial Road Race and the Severn Bridge to his name.
Barker is joined on the One Pro Cycling ranks by another former Team Raleigh man in George Atkins, the 2013 Elite Circuit Series winner. Marcin Bialoblocki and Jon Mould will also start for the team formed by England cricketer Matt Prior.
Raleigh may not have Barker but the services of three-time track world champion Morgan Kneisky – winner of last year’s Stafford Grand Prix - and the experienced Evan Oliphant and Ian Wilkinson will be invaluable with new additions such as Sam Lowe.
A victory for new signing Karol Domagalski in the Wally Gimber Trophy is also a positive sign, as was the second place for another new arrival Steve Lampier.
Kristian House, Ed Clancy and Graham Briggs are among the familiar names in the JLT Condor ranks while Team Wiggins include Andy Tennant, Steven Burke and Mark Christian in their squad.
A number of new faces grace the Madison Genesis team with Matt Cronshaw, Mark McNally and Erick Rowsell set to start in Lancashire. Tom Scully was in fine form at the Tour of Normandie last week, where the New Zealander was third overall in the general classification.
NFTO have also been active in the new season with Ian Bibby and Jonathan McEvoy among the new arrivals while Adam Blythe, Sam Williams and Russell Downing have all left.
Steele Von Hoff, signed from Garmin Sharp, has shown his credentials in the early season.
New to the calendar, the Chorley Grand Prix will consist of five 23.2-mile laps totalling 116 miles.
After departing from Chorley town centre each lap takes in Rivington, Belmont, Abbey Village, Withnell, Brinscall, Wheelton and Buckshaw before returning to Chorley.
The key climb on each lap comes up from Rivington towards Belmont, an ascent of approximately 2.2 miles, the first time the riders tackle the climb is just 4.6 miles into the race and it could prove the catalyst for any potential breaks in the race.
How to follow the race
- Racing starts at 11am in Chorley town centre - Astley Park, Park Road, Chorley, Lancashire.
- You can follow the racing with live updates in our blog at www.britishcycling.org.uk/eliteserieslive
- Follow race day on Twitter @BritishCycling.
- A full race report, images and video highlights will appear on the British Cycling website.