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  • 26 February 2015

    Details of venues and teams for the 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series announced

     The 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series will start with a ticket to Ryde for Britain’s nine fastest teams, as they head to the Isle of Wight on Thursday 14 May, which will culminate five weeks and twelve events later in the world-famous city of Bath on Thursday 11 June.

    Four new venues join the unique, team based Pearl Izumi Tour Series, sponsored by leading cycling, running and triathlon apparel brand Pearl Izumi, with Motherwell in Scotland and Croydon joining Ryde and Bath on the ten event schedule, with two debutant teams among the nine squads that will take part in the 2015 Series.

    The brand new Team WIGGINS formed by 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins and the ONE Pro Cycling team of England cricketer Matt Prior join the list of teams headlined by defending champions JLT Condor presented by Mavic, who hope to become the first squad to defend their Tour Series title.

    Week One sees the opening round take place on the Isle of Wight in Ryde, with a tough climb of Union Street shaping the circuit that will play host to an opening team time trial and traditional circuit race.

    Week Two sees the return of two regular venues, Redditch in Worcestershire on the Tuesday evening before the Aberystwyth event on the Friday night kicks off the weekend festival of cycling in the Welsh resort with both a circuit race and a hill climb up to Constitution Hill overlooking the town.

    A triple-header week of events will take place during half-term, with a new race in Motherwell, host to the triathlon events during the 2014 Commonwealth Games, before Thursday night’s notorious Durham race and a return for the very popular Barrow event in Cumbria on the Friday night.

    The penultimate week of racing will see two events in London, with a first visit to Croydon on the Tuesday before the Thursday night’s race in Canary Wharf, which will also include the popular Corporate Grand Prix event.

    The final week of racing will see Peterborough host Round Nine before the final event in the historic city of Bath, using an iconic circuit that takes in the Royal Crescent.  All ten rounds will once again have highlights on ITV4, screened the following evening, the seventh successive year it has been televised by ITV.

    “We are delighted to announce the seventh season of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series with prestigious new venues and high-profile new teams,” said Mick Bennett, Race Director of Series organisers SweetSpot.

    “The season ahead is certainly going to be highly-competitive and we look forward to what will be an action packed five weeks of competition with Britain’s fastest teams vying for the title.

    “As always we have tried to challenge our teams with something new, so we have four new circuits plus what will be a very tough hill climb event as a part of the Aberystwyth event.”

    Alongside JLT Condor presented by Mavic, ONE Pro Cycling and Team WIGGINS, three further British registered UCI Continental teams will take part – Madison Genesis, NFTO Pro Cycling and Team Raleigh – GAC.

    Three further non-UCI British teams will also enter the full Series, Pedal Heaven RT, SportGrub Kuota and Velosure Starley Primal, with a new trophy being inaugurated for the highest placed non-UCI team at the end of the Series.

    The Pearl Izumi Tour Series will also once again include a five-round women’s Grand Prix Series, culminating just a week before the biggest women’s cycle race in the UK, the Friends Life Women’s Tour (17-21 June).  Further details of the Grand Prix Series, including venues, will be announced shortly.

    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).


    You can follow The Pearl Izumi Tour Series on Twitter @TourSeries #tourseries or Facebook or via the official website at

    Category: International Events

  • 24 February 2015

    Investment confirmed for key Scottish Borders Mountain Biking events

    VisitScotland has today (24 Feb) announced up to £29,000 in funding for two mountain biking events, taking place in the Scottish Borders this summer. The TweedLove Enduro World Series event and the British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships have secured investment from EventScotland, the events team at VisitScotland through its National Programme.

    With two days of high octane racing featuring the world’s top trail riders, the Enduro World Series returns to the Tweedlove Bike Festival for the second year running on May 30-31. With 600 places in the main event selling out in an incredible 30 seconds, the event will see riders from all over the world compete in the beautiful surroundings of Innerleithen and Glentress. The event was the fastest-selling event in the entire series, a fact made more significant as it is also has the most competitors.

    The event will receive up to £25,000 in funding through the National Programme which, will support strategic marketing and PR and enhancements to the spectator experience, including increased capacity at the start area and an enhanced expo village.

    Returning to Selkirk for the third year in a row, the British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships will see top domestic riders race over a challenging 75km course for the coveted national champion’s jersey. The event on May 1 will also feature a number of amateur sportives across three distances, giving riders of all ages and abilities a taste of the action. Up to £4,000 has been awarded to increase marketing and PR activity for the event, with visitors expected from throughout the UK.

    VisitScotland research shows that domestic visitors to Scotland, who take part in mountain biking or cycling, on average stay over two million nights and spend £109 million each year. The Scottish Borders is the perfect destination for mountain biking with a range of challenging trails running through some of the country’s most spectacular scenery.

    In November last year, the VisitScotland Conference Bid Fund helped support the Scottish Mountain Biking Conference 2014 – International Edition. The event at Peebles Hydro generated an estimated £250,000 for the economy and was attended by more than 200 mountain biking experts.

    VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said: “Mountain Biking is a critical part of the tourism offering in the Scottish Borders. The 7stanes trails in the South of Scotland generate £11m for the local economy and with world class facilities complemented by stunning scenery and warm hospitality it’s easy to see why we are attracting these internationally significant events. 

    “Our aim in funding these events is to drive both domestic and international tourism, with hoteliers, restaurants and other local businesses set to benefit from an influx competitors and spectators. Scotland has a reputation as the perfect stage for events, and our team at EventScotland will continue to build on that by attracting major international events to the country.”

    Neil Dalgleish said, “The Tweed Valley really is amazing for mountain biking and undoubtedly has the UK’s best enduro trails. Hosting the EWS for a second year proves that we are now in the premier league of the world’s MTB destinations. The whole community is very proud that the event sold out so fast – it’s incredibly exciting and we can’t wait to welcome the world’s best riders!”

    Paul McGreal of Durty Events, organisers of The British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships, said: “We’re really pleased to have been asked to organise The British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships alongside the Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon again. The financial support from EventScotland will make an enormous difference to both events.  Most importantly it allows us to grow this already popular event, both in terms of riders of national and open events as well as their supporters and the spectators.  This will ensure the event’s long term future thereby further benefitting the local economy.” 

    Category: National Events

  • 23 February 2015

    StAnza comes of age with a festival programme set to ‘Bedazzle’

    “…to be part of such a prestigious event, in the new Byre, is a delight for me.”

    Clive Russell, Actor

     StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival celebrates its eighteenth year with a festival programme set to ‘Bedazzle’.  As one of the UK’s leading festivals, StAnza is marking its coming of age year with an outstanding line-up of literary talent.

     The annual festival which gets underway next week, will be launched by Fife actor and Game of Thrones star Clive Russell, followed by an opening night performance of Bedazzled: A Welshman in New York. The highly acclaimed show will see the Byre Theatre transformed into 1950’s New York and audience members transported back in time to the heady, bohemian world of Greenwich Village in the 50s.

     Commenting on his involvement with StAnza Clive Russell said: “I was brought up in Fife, and St Andrews was a place, as a family, we visited many times for picnics on the West Sands, films at the cinema, putting on the Himalayas, golf, and plays at the original Byre Theatre. Indeed one of my first experiences of theatre was an A B Paterson play at that unique venue so to be part of such a prestigious event, in the new Byre, is a delight for me.”

     Festival Director Eleanor Livingstone added: “We are absolutely delighted to have an artist of such talent and stature as Clive Russell launching the eighteenth StAnza festival. Not only does he connect with Fife, StAnza’s home, but he also shares a love of poetry and of course, not forgetting, he is a major international television star, currently watched by millions around the world in Game of Thrones.”

     Over five days Fife's historic university town of St Andrews will come alive to celebrate live poetry in all its forms around this year's themes of Unfinished Business and An Archipelago of Poetry.

    The festival takes place from 4 to 8 March and boasts an impressive programme with headline acts including Simon Armitage, New Zealand’s first Poet Laureate Bill Manhire, along with three poets on their first appearance at StAnza, American poet Alice Notley, Sinéad Morrissey, currently Belfast’s Poet Laureate, and Ian Duhig. Winner of the 2014 Forward Prize for best collection and Forward First Prize for best first collection, Kei Miller and Liz Berry, respectively are also included in this year’s line up along with Helen Mort, recent winner of the Aldeburgh First Collection prize and Hollie McNish, winner of the Arts Foundation spoken word award.

     Eleanor Livingstone continued: “This is a very special year for StAnza and we have marked it with an ambitious programme which demonstrates the incredible creative talent there is within the poetry world. From our headline acts to some of the newest voices on the stage, our line-up is an eclectic, vibrant and exciting mix of performance poets and artists who will no doubt make 2015 a festival to remember.”

     Among the new voices in this year’s programme are spoken word poets Agnes Török, Toby Campion and Erin Fornoff. Agnes Török was the 2014 StAnza Poetry Slam winner and was awarded the Best International Spoken Word Show at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival for her show Sorry I Don't Speak Culture. Toby Campion was a finalist in the BBC Poetry Slam 2014 and the UK National Slam 2014 while Erin Fornoff who has performed at Glastonbury, won the StAnza 2013 digital slam.

     Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said:“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we look forward to StAnza kicking off next week, with Clive Russell set to launch the festival in style. StAnza is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our annual cultural portfolio, and the programme this year looks set to capture the imagination of audiences once more.”

     Other programme highlights include an exhibition by Will Maclean in collaboration with poet John Burnside, Writing Motherhood, A Shipwrecked House, Sealegs, and a Modern Don Juan. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased in person, by phone and online. Full box office details are online at our booking page or telephone the box office on 01334 475000.  

    Category: International Events