Britain’s leading televised women’s cycle race series heads to Edinburgh on Thursday, for its first ever Scottish round on Thursday (29th May), with Scottish riders leading the way.
Heading into the Edinburgh event, Round Three in the Series, Fife’s Eileen Roe tops the standings, 11-points clear of Dunfermline’s Charline Joiner.
Roe, of the Starley Primal Pro Cycling team, was the winner last time out in Peterborough and took the runner-up spot in Round One at Stoke-on-Trent. Back from a long-term injury layoff, she has hit the ground running and has high expectations of the racing and her home crowds.
"It's exciting that there’s a round in Edinburgh and me being from Fife it's the closest to a home race in the Series. Meaning there's no 5hr+ drive involved. I hope everyone is ready for probably the biggest crowds of the Series! Edinburgh is a city that definitely loves cycling and everyone I know can't wait for it.
“It's one of the toughest circuits of the Series and racing up the cobbled Victoria Street certainly holds for one exciting race in both the men's and women's races. To be wearing the Leader Jersey coming into Edinburgh in front of a home crowd is certainly an honour, but it also comes with the pressure to keep hold of it or even a stage win. Starley Primal will do everything to keep that jersey with the team and give my home crowds something to shout about.”
Fellow Scot Charline Joiner, of the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International squad, not only has her sights firmly set on Roe who currently sits 11-points above her in the Matrix Fitness GP Series overall standings, but has the bigger ambitions of competing for a spot in the track team for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
"There's a pretty steep cobbled hill that the crowd cheering for me will come in handy. With my sprint type riding the hills are always more difficult for me and having that home crowd will help a lot.
“If I'm there in Glasgow [Commonwealth Games], I can imagine Edinburgh will be a little taster of how it might be. I love the fact my best friend and I are sitting 1st and 2nd in the series going into a home round."
Scottish riders have so far won both events so far in the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, with Joiner’s teammate Katie Archibald winning the opening event in Stoke-on-Trent. Having missed the Peterborough round she sits sixth in the standings, but still less than a race win behind Roe in the points. The Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team also continue to lead the team standings.
The Edinburgh round will take place at the Grassmarket at 17:30 on Thursday 29th May. Following the women’s race Round Six of the men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series will hit the streets at 19:30 for an hour long race around the 1.3-kilometre Grassmarket circuit.
If you can’t make it to Grassmarket to watch the action you can follow the race on our Pearl Izumi Tour Series Twitter feed @tourseries using the hashtag #tourseries. Race highlights of both the men’s and women’s rounds will be broadcast on ITV4 at 9pm on Friday 30th May, with a repeat the following morning at 6am.