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pearlizumicylcingseries2A national cycle racing series is set to take place on the streets of Ryde in May, it has been confirmed.

Roads in Ryde will be transformed into a closed circuit for a round of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, which will see up to 50 riders battling it out for over an hour of competitive professional racing.

The race, to take place on Thursday 14th May, will use Esplanade, Dover Street, Melville Street, Cross Street and Union Street and will host an hour of racing plus 5 additional laps with up to 10 teams taking part in the first-ever cylce race in the seaside town.

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The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is the only British domestic cycle race Series to be televised on terrestrial TV, airing on ITV4.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said:

“Attracting high profile events like The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is only possible because we have Visit Isle of Wight, our own destination management organisation (DMO) building partnerships and opportunities.

“This single event should deliver approaching £750,000 of media value and visitor spend this year alone.

“Winning the bid to host the race on a Thursday rather than the usual Tuesday is a major coup for the Island as it provides an opportunity to build long weekend business in mid May.”

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Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, added:

“It is very pleasing we have been able to secure this prestigious event to come to the Isle of Wight in such a wonderful location. The council recently secured nearly £1 million under the government’s second Local Sustainable Transport Fund and the money is being used to support local initiatives and projects such as ‘Bicycle Island’ to encourage people to leave their cars at home and use sustainable transport. Part of the LSTF grant can be used to support local events and we are delighted to be supporting such an important sporting occasion using some of the funding, because major sporting events such as the Pearl Izumi Tour are shown to inspire people take part in recreational cycling.

“Elsewhere the tour has attracted thousands of spectators and I am sure local residents will come along and support this event and join in the fun. It is also a great opportunity to celebrate the Island as a place where people want to live, work and visit.”

Alastair Grant, Commercial Director at Sweetspot, commented:

“We are excited to be bringing the Pearl Izumi Tour Series to Ryde and the Isle of Wight, which will be the first, not just for the Series, but also for one of SweetSpot’s event. We are sure that residents from across the Island will be excited by the chance to watch Britain’s fastest teams in action, and hope lots of fans travel with us to enjoy the race in a beautiful setting.”

The staging of the event, which follows months of negotiation led by VIOW, will cost just over £90,000 – a joint investment of £27,250 by the DMO and partners, £45,000 from the LSTF fund and a cash equivalent of up to £20,000 by other partners including Island Roads.

Paul Herbert, Service Director at Island Roads added:

“As an Island company passionate about improving the highways network for the benefit of all road users, we are delighted to be playing our part in supporting this high profile event which will bring both positive publicity and an economic boost to the Island.”

With a wide range of community activities and support events planned for the 14th May, plus the main Pearl Izumi Tour Series race at 19:00, there’ll be plenty to see and do for local residents and visiting spectators alike.

The full schedule of events will be available by the beginning of April.

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