By Nick Bull published
The five-round Johnson's Health Tech GP Series gets underway in Oxford tonight, with defending champion Helen Wyman among the 90 riders signed up to compete throughout the event.
Wyman (Kona Factory Racing) narrowly pipped Lucy Garner (Node4-Giordana) and Hannah Barnes (Team Ibis Cycles) to take the inaugural crown last June, with another close fight anticipated this year.
Australian 2010 Team Pursuit World Champion Sarah King is among the international riders scheduled to compete this year, although at present she is only scheduled to start round two next Tuesday in Peterborough (May 29).
From there, the series heads to Colchester (June 7), Woking (June 12) and concludes in Stoke-on-Trent (June 14).
Round by round preview with Raleigh-GAC's Jeroen Janssen >>>
Sarah Byrne (l) and Wyman in Oldham
While Ed Clancy continues to race for Rapha-Condor-Sharp in the men's series, last year's winner in Stoke (and fellow GB team pursuiter) Dani King is not among those riders who have signed up to compete.
Footage from all five rounds will be shown during ITV4's hour-long Tour Series highlights package.
Halfords Tour Series 2012: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
Nick Bull is an NCTJ qualified journalist who has written for a range of titles, as well as being a freelance writer at Beat Media Group, which provides reports for the PA Media wire which is circulated to the likes of the BBC and Eurosport. His work at Cycling Weekly predominantly dealt with professional cycling, and he now holds a role as PR & Digital Manager at SweetSpot Group, which organises the Tour of Britain.
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