Packed afternoon of cycling for Edinburgh this Thursday

Britain’s leading televised cycle race Series makes its debut in Edinburgh, with the country’s top professional cycling teams heading to the Grassmarket for an evening of action packed racing.

Thursday 29 May sees the men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series and women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series both taking place in the city for the first time, with multiple Olympic and World Champion Sir Chris Hoy.

Hoy will be in Edinburgh for the final stop of the 2014 HOY Tour, showcasing his new range of kid’s bikes with an inflatable test track on the Grassmarket.

He’ll then ride a few laps of the closed road circuit under the shadow of the spectacular Edinburgh Castle with 50 lucky fans who will be drawn at random in a prize draw conducted by Evans Cycles.

Commenting on Thursday’s ride, Sir Chris Hoy, said: “I always love coming home to Edinburgh, this week will be extra special as I’m launching the new Hoy kids range of bikes in the city where each of these bike names originated.  The Napier, Bonaly, Cammo and Meadowbank bikes are all named after these places where I enjoyed some of my first cycling experiences."

Following the amateur ride, Britain’s leading televised race series for women, the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, will have its first ever round in Scotland, with racing underway at 17:30.

Coming on the back of a month which has seen the first ever Friends Life Women’s Tour, held in the East of England, and with Scottish riders Eileen Roe and Charline Joiner first and second in the standings, interest and support is sure to be high.

At 19:30 attention will switch to the men, with Round Six of the team based Pearl Izumi Tour Series on the 1.3-kilometre course.

Among the home riders taking part will be NFTO Pro Cycling’s Commonwealth Games medallist James McCallum and Starley Primal Pro Cycling duo Jack Pullar and David Lines.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is unique in that the focus is on the teams, with squads battling to place their top three riders as high as possible in the standings in order to take the all-important team victory.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Chris Hoy to Edinburgh’s Grassmarket as the city plays host to part of the Pearl Izumi Tour series. Thursday evening is going to be a fantastic opportunity for people to see Britain’s top cyclists go head to head against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, and will provide families with a fun day out in the Capital. 

"As a Council, we pledge to devote 5% of our transport budget on provision for cyclists so this event will complement this commitment enormously. I urge residents to take to the streets to make the Edinburgh leg of the cycling event a huge success."

Looking ahead to the round, Series Race Director Mick Bennett, said: “Coming after Tuesday’s Durham round, Edinburgh will be another tough test for our teams and riders.

“We have been looking forward to the Edinburgh event ever since it was confirmed, and think that the Grassmarket circuit will provide for spectacular racing and a great atmosphere from which spectators can enjoy the event.”

In addition to the professional races there will be support activities on the circuit from 13:00 onwards, including youth races at 14:30 and a Category 2/3/4 amateur race at 15:30.

Starting and finishing on the Grassmarket, the circuit then takes in the cobbled climb of Victoria Street, crosses the George IV Bridge, before returning to the Grassmarket via Candlemaker Row.

Highlights of the Edinburgh round of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be shown on ITV4 at 9pm on Friday 30thMay, with a repeat at 6am on Saturday 31st May.

For information on traffic management in the Grassmarket area on May 29, please see the latest Roads Report

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