British Cycling’s Motorpoint Spring Cup Series and Women’s Road Series are ready to descend on the Isle of Man’s capital, Douglas, on Sunday 10 April for the Manx International GP and Manx International GP Feminin.
For the Motorpoint Spring Cup, it will be the second instalment of the series after a challenging Chorley Grand Prix opener, while the Manx event will be the opening round of the 2016 Women’s Road Series. Both series’ will be making their debut on the island and will use the Isle of Man TT Snaefell Mountain course – hallowed ground for motorcycle and cycle racing for over a century.
About the series
Motorpoint Spring Cup Series
The Motorpoint Spring Cup Series is a five-round series running from March through to May.
Action began with the Chorley Grand Prix and after the inaugural Manx International Grand Prix, the series heads to the north-east of England for the two-day Tour of the Reservoir a weekend later.
Cycle Wiltshire is the penultimate round on Sunday 8 May before the prestigious Lincoln Grand Prix brings the series to a dramatic conclusion on the cobbles of Michaelgate.
Riders will race for the Motorpoint Spring Cup Series leader’s jersey while there is also the battle for the team classification.
Women’s Road Series
The Manx International GP Feminin is the first of eight Women’s Road Series rounds running from April to July.
A week later the series is in the north east for Tour of the Reservoir before another new addition, the Lincoln Grand Prix in mid-May.
Sunday 29 May sees a further new event on the series, the North Bucks Festival of Cycling Grand Prix at Newton Longville before the Essex Giro 2-Day, Curlew Cup and Otley Grand Prix in June.
The series culminates on Sunday 10 July with the Ryedale Grand Prix in Ampleforth, Yorkshire.
Riders are awarded points for their finishing position in each race, with the rider amassing the highest points total winning the coveted title of Women’s Road Series champion.
Women's Road Series
Motorpoint Spring Cup
The 37.73-mile Isle of Man TT Snaefell Mountain course needs little introduction in two-wheeled circles, having hosted the legendary international motorcycle race since 1911.
And the course is no stranger to top-level cycle racing too, having hosted the Manx International/Manx Trophy from 1936 to 2003, with past winners including Jacques Anquetil and Tom Simpson.
The course begins and ends on the coast in Douglas but climbs to a high point of over 400 metres on the famous and exposed Snaefell mountain road.
The Manx International GP Feminin will tackle two laps of this challenging circuit, while the Motorpoint Spring Cup men’s event will endure three circuits before the winners are crowned in Douglas.
Motorpoint Spring Cup
British time trial championships silver medallist Edmund Bradbury used his solo skill to clinch the first round win in Chorley, the likeable NTFO rider taking the victory in conditions he described as “biblical”.
However Bradbury’s win bore testament to a strong team effort from NFTO, the early series leader one of four NFTO men in the top ten, Bradbury sharing the podium with teammate Dale Appleby.
Pedal Heaven lived up to their pre-season billing too in Chorley, active throughout the race and placing their man, Dexter Gardias, on the podium in third.
While it is early days for overall predictions, these two powerhouse teams are likely to thrive on a Manx course that shares much with the fells of Lancashire.
However, 2015 series winner Steve Lampier ensured he is in the mix in the standings, finishing just off the podium in the colours of JLT Condor, a team awash with domestic and international talent.
Away from the developing series battle however, the spotlight will be on late entrant Pete Kennaugh, who will ride the event on his home island alongside Team Sky stablemate Ben Swift.
British champion Kennaugh, from Douglas, holds the lap record for the mountain course, his time of 1 hour, 23 minutes and 48 seconds beating Chris Boardman’s 1993 record by six seconds.
Team Wiggins too will be motivated by home interest, with Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mark Christian likely to lead a team containing powerhouse Sam Harrison.
Women’s Road Series
Nicola Juniper dominated the 2015 Women’s Road Series as she did in 2014, scoring well in the early rounds before sealing series victory with a resounding win at the Stafford Grand Prix. Another win at the Ryedale Grand Prix capped a superb series for the rider.
After a season that also saw her take the national circuit championship title, Juniper formed Team Ford EcoBoost during the winter, selecting 2015 Women’s Road Series runner-up Charline Joiner amongst a squad that deftly mixes youth and experience.
Alongside Joiner and Juniper, Team Ford EcoBoost will also bring Leicestershire’s Charlotte Broughton, Aberdeen Wheelers’ Julie Erskine, Elizabeth Holden, Clover Murray and Anna Turvey to the island to begin their series challenge.
Fusion RT Fierlan will also be there in numbers, with a five-rider squad captained by Jenny Hudson, amid strong local representation from the Isle of Man Cycling Association and Manx Viking Wheelers CC.
How to follow the racing
- Follow the action from the Motorpoint Spring Cup Series on our live blog from 1pm on Sunday 10 April for race updates, images and social media.
- Follow @BritishCycling on Twitter for updates from both events throughout the racing.
- Women’s Road Series media partner Voxwomen will offer live updates and post-race online video.
- Video highlights, report, results, images and reaction will appear on the British Cycling website.
- Highlights of the Motorpoint Spring Cup will be shown on Eurosport.