Britain's fastest teams race into action at Ryde on the Isle of Wight this week for the opening round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series cycling, which takes place on Thursday 14 May, and this year's rider line-up is set to be better than ever.
Olympic, world and Commonwealth champions will be among the line-up in both the men and women's Series, as teams confirmed their final squads for the five weeks of competition, which get underway this week.
Among those listed in the 10-rider men's squads for the Pearl Izumi Tour Series are Olympic champions Ed Clancy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Steven Burke, 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Tom Scully and current Australian criterium champion Steele Von Hoff.
While the women's Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, which starts five days later in Redditch on Tuesday 19 May will feature Olympic champions Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell, plus multiple Paralympic champion Dame Sarah Storey and Commonwealth Games medallist Charline Joiner.
JLT Condor presented by Mavic arrive at round one as the defending champions, having in 2014 become the only team to win the series twice during its six-year history. To defend their title the team of Ed Clancy, the most successful rider in series history, will face a revised format, which will see the winning team on the night decided by their lowest cumulative time.
Two teams make their debuts, led by Team Wiggins, the new squad of 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins, who is currently in training for his hour record on 7 June and may feature in later Pearl Izumi Tour Series rounds.
Wiggins showed their pre-Series form at the weekend, with former Tour Series champion Andy Tennant winning the Cycle Wiltshire Grand Prix round of the Elite Road Series. Tennant beat another former series champion Yanto Barker of One Pro Cycling, the team of England cricketer Matt Prior, who will also make their Pearl Izumi Tour Series debuts in Ryde, with a 10-rider squad containing six former Tour Series champions.
Team Raleigh GAC are led by Elite Road Series Spring Cup winner Steve Lampier and also include Polish rider Karol Domagalski and three-time World Track Cycling Champion Morgan Kneisky, as well as youngster George Pym, who took up racing having watched the Tour Series in Exeter in 2009 as a spectator.
The SportGrub Kuota, Pedal Heaven and Velosure Starley Primal teams will vie for a new trophy to be presented to the highest ranked non-UCI Continental team come the end of the 2015 series in Bath on Thursday 11 June.
Riders will also fight for a new-look points Jersey, sponsored by online bike store Chain Reaction Cycles, with riders now scoring points at the finish, in addition to the three hot spot sprints during the race, making each round worth up to 20 points towards the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey.
The opening round takes place at Ryde, Isle of Wight, on Thursday 14 May, with highlights shown on ITV4 at 8pm on Friday 15 May. Each of the nine men's teams will field five of their ten rider squad, in first a mid-afternoon team time trial consisting of two laps of the Ryde circuit, before the one-hour circuit race at 7.30pm. Two guest teams will also race on the Isle of Wight, with Wightlink LCM systems taking part in the team time trial and Ride 24/7 racing in the evening race.
Starting at Redditch on Tuesday 19 May the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series enters its fifth year with the best ever line-up, led by defending champion and reigning British Circuit Race Champion Eileen Roe, who is due to lead an all-British Wiggle Honda line-up alongside 2012 Olympic Champion Dani King at selected rounds.
Ahead of June's Aviva Women's Tour both Matrix Fitness and Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International will field five riders at every round, with Laura Trott and double world champion Elinor Barker in the former's squad and Dame Sarah Storey, Joanna Rowell and world champion Katie Archibald, who won two rounds in 2014, among the latter's.
Fans in the south of England or travelling to round one of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series at Ryde on the Isle of Wight can also visit the Pearl Izumi outlet store at Gunwharf Quays (Unit 91) in Portsmouth, just a short walk from where the Wightlink ferries depart to the Isle of Wight.
Past winners of the unique, team-based Pearl Izumi Tour Series are Team Halfords Bikehut (2009), Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta (2010), Rapha Condor Sharp (2011), Endura Racing (2012), Team UK Youth (2013) and Rapha Condor JLT (2014).
The 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series
Round 1 - Thursday 14 May, Ryde, Isle of Wight
Round 2 - Tuesday 19 May, Redditch
Round 3 - Friday 22 May, Aberystwyth
Round 4 - Tuesday 26 May, Motherwell
Round 5 - Thursday 28 May, Durham
Round 6 - Friday 29 May, Barrow
Round 7 - Tuesday 2 June, Croydon
Round 8 - Thursday 4 June, Canary Wharf
Round 9 - Tuesday 9 June, Peterborough
Round 10 - Thursday 11 June, Bath
TV highlights schedule
8:00pm - Friday 15 May Ryde, Isle of Wight
8:00pm - Wednesday 20 May, Redditch*
9:00pm - Monday 25 May, Aberystwyth
10:15pm - Wednesday 27 May, Motherwell*
9:00pm - Friday 29 May, Durham
9:00pm - Sunday 31 May, Barrow
10:00pm - Wednesday 3 June, Croydon*
10:00pm - Friday 5 June, Canary Wharf
8:00pm - Wednesday 10 June, Peterborough*
8:00pm - Friday 12 June, Bath*
*Indicates also includes women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series highlights