By Nigel Wynn
Organisers of The Tour Series have released further details of the 10-date city-centre criterium series that commences this summer.
There has been a slight change to the initially mooted schedule of races, with one venue still to be confirmed. The series kicks off in Milton Keynes on May 21, and finishes on June 25 in Southend on Sea.
All of the races are run on either Tuesday or Thursday evenings - and the events should all be broadcast on national television, although exact details of the coverage have yet to be announced.
Rather than the usual criterium format, the series instead pits ten British teams against each other. Each of the teams' five riders must work together to place three riders as high as possible in the results. The fast-paced racing will take place around a 1-1.5km city centre circuit, and lasts for one hour.
Tour Series Director of Racing Brian Smith said "British cycling?s success at the Olympics, coupled with the rise in profile of the Premier Calendar and The Tour Of Britain, has meant there are a greater number of cycling teams forming and those already in existence have become stronger.
"The Tour Series teams have been selected from the best of these professional teams in the UK and this sets the scene for a showdown of British cycling talent. The fast and furious racing will bring the razzamataz of cycling to our city centres whilst the professional performance of our partner teams will engage with the British public to take The Tour Series to the next level."
THE TOUR SERIES: 2009 DATES
21 May Milton Keynes
28 May Exeter
2 June Woking
4 June Peterborough
9 June Blackpool
11 June Southport
16 June Stoke on Trent
18 June TBC
23 June Chester
25 June Southend on Sea
The ten British teams signed up for the series are: BMC Racing UK, CandiTV-Pinarello, Cyclingbargains.com, Endura Racing, Halfords Bikehut, Plowman Craven-Madison, Rapha-Condor, Sigma Sport, Sport Beans-Wilier and Team Corley Cycles.
Tour Series kicks off in Milton Keynes
British Race Calendar 2009
National televised criterium series announced
The Tour Series: www.tourseries.co.uk
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