The ink might barely be dry on Tom Stewart's masters degree in civil engineering, but thanks to his mid-season move to Raleigh, confirmed last week, he won't be spending the rest of the summer partying.
In fact Stewart has already donned his new Raleigh colours, doing so last weekend at the Hillingdon Grand Prix where he finished ninth behind a UK Youth 1-2-3 led by Marcin Bialoblocki after Emily Kay (Scott-Contessa-Epic) won the women's race.
The former Sportscover rider, who impressed this season at the Tour of the Reservoir and Lincoln Grand Prix, is now targeting further Premier Calendar success as he gets to grips with being a full-time bike rider.
"I enjoyed the novelty of having a
mechanic there for me at Hillingdon, that was fun," he said. "I'm happy everything went smoothly, and I know I've got to focus hard on the rest of the season now."
Stewart will next line up at the Circuit of the Fens road race this weekend, although eagle-eyed Cycling Weekly readers might have already spotted an old Team Raleigh cap under the Sheffield rider's helmet at the Tour of the Reservoir, where he finished fourth.
"I didn't sort anything with the team until last week," he insists. "That was just an old cap I had! I put it on for the weather."
Stewart in action at the Tour the Reservoir
Women's race for Otley Crits
Spaces are still available for the brand new women's race at this year's Otley Cycle Races and, in the hometown of Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead, organiser Giles Pidcock is hopeful of attracting a star-studded startlist.
"The race takes place at the same time as the women's Giro," he said, "but we're hopeful that those not riding in Italy will be in Otley."
Taking place on July 3, the women's event will kick off proceedings at 6pm before U16, U14 and amateur races preceed the men's event, which starts at 8.30pm and forms the first round of the Elite Circuit Series.
Thanks to support from DM Keith Skoda and a Friends of Otley Cycle Races scheme, providing small sponsorship deals with local businesses, the future of the races has been secured for the next three years.
Twilght Criterium for Bournemouth
Inspired by the success of the London Nocturne, a twighlight criterium will be coming to Bournemouth for the first time on July 20 with both a women's race and men's race running alongside a night time Sky Ride.
The women's Cat. 2, 3, 4 race at 6pm and men's Cat. 1, 2, 3 race at 7pm will be followed by the Sky Ride before a 'Night Glow Procession,' which organisers describe as Bournemouth's first ever bike light spectacular.
Entry costs £10 and closes on June 30. Head to the event website to find out more.
Edinburgh cycling photography exhibition
As part of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, Newhaven Communications will be hosting an exhibition of the work of sports photographer, Pete Goding.
Alongside working for the Press Association, Goding has also taken photographs for the popular Mountain High book and its successor, Mountain Higher.
The exhibition runs from Sunday June 16 to Friday June 21 between 11am and 4pm. Entry is free.
Leicester Castle Classic
Another new race to hit the calendar this year is the Castle Classic around the centre of the Leicester on August 18, featuring an elite men's race as well as amateur, corporate and junior races.
"The Castle Classic bike race is set to be a highlight of our Summer in the City programme," said mayor of Leicester, Peter Soulsby. "The number of people cycling in Leicester grows every year. This new race, and Leicester's incredibly popular Sky Ride, are both great ways of celebrating this acheivement and developing our ongoing commitment to cycling."
Winchester is going cycling mad this summer, with a Cycle Fair on Sunday June 23 and a Family Cycle Day on August 11. But for sportive fans August 10 will see the family-friendly Winchester Holiday Inn sportive with a choice of 10, 30 or 60km routes. Entry costs between £10 to £15 depending on route, and under-16s enter for free (but have to pay for food).
Take up the Gauntlet
The Southern Sportive - the original South Downs sportive and one of the first events of its kind in the country when it started in 2006 - will be happening again this September 8. The stunning course offers not only great climbs but long descents over rolling chalk downs, and the new ‘Gauntlet' challenge means the longest route option - a massive 119 miles (192km) - is probably one of the hardest rides in the UK.
King for a Day
If you're further north on September 8 there's an equally great event being organised by Evans Cycles' Ride It! Team. The King of the Pennines takes in remote car-area roads over some of the toughest climbs in the area, including Malham Cove, Park Rash and the highest road in Yorkshire, Fleet Moss. On the 99-mile ‘long' route there is a whopping 11,000ft of climbing.
The first ever DorkingShift sportive will be taking place this September 29, with the three routes on offer - 30, 50 and 100 miles - all taking in the beautiful lanes of the North Downs. And as an added incentive, event organiser Bite the Sun is offering riders the chance to sign up for a three-month, body and bike preparation, training and performance webinar series. The first 30 early-bird entrants who sign up to each sportive before June 30 will get expert advice, training and performance testing, all for the price of an entrance ticket.
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