Two rounds of this year’s OVO Energy Tour Series will once again take place in Scotland, with Motherwell and Aberdeen welcoming Britain’s leading televised cycle race series this May.
Britain’s best riders will head North of the Border for the second and third rounds of this year’s Series; Motherwell is their first stop on Tuesday 15 May, before Aberdeen welcomes Olympic, Paralympic and National Champions aplenty 48 hours later (Thursday 17 May).
Following on from three successful women’s races in Motherwell to date, 2018 will see Aberdeen add an elite women’s round to its programme for the first time.
The OVO Energy Tour Series is unique, as the focus in both the men and women’s competition is on the teams, who battle for the overall title based on the performance of all five of their riders in each event.
The Series’ return Motherwell is the fourth time in the event’s 10 editions to date that riders will have raced around the streets of the North Lanarkshire town. Britain’s leading domestic professionals will tackle an unchanged 1.2-kilometre circuit, one that ends with the gruelling climb of Hamilton Road. All three previous men’s round winners in the town have gone on to claim the coveted overall Series title.
Both races are being supported by EventScotland. Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, added: “The OVO Energy Tour Series is a fantastic event and we are delighted the organisers have once again chosen to bring two of the rounds to Scotland. Motherwell and Aberdeen both provide the perfect stage for this highly charged event and EventScotland is delighted to be supporting them to showcase to their regions to a national TV audience of cycling enthusiasts.”
Councillor Allan Graham, Convener of the Enterprise and Housing Committee, said: “North Lanarkshire is delighted to welcome The OVO Energy Tour Series back to Motherwell for the fourth year in a row.
“It is an excellent opportunity to see world class cycling up close, with the top teams in Britain competing around our street circuit. During the day local school children can also enjoy a lap of the circuit, which we hope will inspire them to be active and get on their bikes. We look forward to an exciting day of racing and fun on 15 May!”
Aberdeen will welcome the Series two days later, almost exactly a year after the city hosted a thoroughly successful round for the first time. The challenging circuit, which takes in the city’s Central Library, His Majesty’s Theatre and Aberdeen Art Gallery, culminates with a dead turn on the approach to the Union Street finish line.
Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “We are delighted that the OVO Energy Tour Series is set to return to Aberdeen. The inaugural Aberdeen event in 2017 was outstanding with people lining the streets to support both the community races and the amazing professional athletes.
“Aberdeen is a dynamic city which offers a great deal for both residents and visitors. We are making a concerted effort to raise the city’s profile through our ambitious events programme and bringing The OVO Energy Tour Series to Aberdeen, in conjunction with EventScotland, will strengthen Aberdeen’s position as a must-visit destination for high-profile cultural and sporting events.
“This leading cycling race is one of the first events in our ambitious summer programme and is part of our wider Aberdeen 365 Events Strategy, a City Centre Masterplan initiative, which will see events such as The OVO Energy Tour Series and Great Aberdeen Run bring the streets of the Granite City to life”.
JLT Condor and Drops – the 2017 men’s and women’s Series champions respectively – both triumphed in Motherwell last year and will look to repeat their feats this time around. However, a one-three-four in the individual result saw the Canyon Eisberg men’s team claim their maiden Series round victory in Aberdeen.
Commenting on the Series’ doubleheader in Scotland, Race Director Mick Bennett said: “Motherwell has quickly become a favourite among both riders and fans, so we’re looking forward to bringing the OVO Energy Tour Series back for a fourth year this May. The challenging nature of the circuit means it’s a good barometer of each team’s form.
“We were treated to a beautiful spring day and really exciting racing when we visited Aberdeen last year, so it makes perfect sense for the OVO Energy Tour Series to return to the city once again on 17 May. The way everybody in Aberdeen has got behind the Series’ visit was fantastic and I have no doubt that the local support will once again be brilliant, especially with the addition of an elite women’s race.”
Further details of both rounds, including full timetables of the support race schedules and children’s events, will be published in the coming weeks.
Highlights of every round of the OVO Energy Tour Series will once again be shown on ITV4, with programmes also being made available on demand via the ITV Hub.