Full speed ahead as leading cyclists hit the town

Action from one of the early races
Action from one of the early races

Spectators got an up close view of some of Britain’s best cyclists when a prestigious race series came to Motherwell last night (Tuesday).

The town was staging the fourth round of the 10-round UK-wide Pearl Izumi Tour series and thousands of cycling fans converged for the professional races.

From 1pm there were family activities and action on the testing 1.7km circuit which started and finished on Hamilton Road and took in High Road, Farm Street, Ladywell Road and Douglas Street.

Scottish Cycling organised a series of races during the afternoon before the highlights of the programme during the evening - the Matrix Fitness Women’s Grand Prix and round four of the men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series.

Now in its seventh season, the Pearl Izumi series sees top class teams battle it out to be crowned the fastest and best team in Britain. Among the field was the new Team Wiggins, set up by 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Previously the series has visited Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy, and Motherwell’s civic leaders were delighted to secure it for the town.

Paul Jukes, North Lanarkshire Council’s executive director of regeneration and environmental services, said: “With the success of the Commonwealth Games triathlon and cycling time trials last summer, North Lanarkshire is firmly on the map to host major sporting events.

“Motherwell is the only Scottish venue on the 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series and Matrix Fitness Women’s Grand Prix, so we’re delighted to welcome the cyclists and teams to our town.

“The series involves the best professional cycling teams from across Britain to challenge over 10 rounds for the title of top team.

“Each round attracts thousands of supporters to watch the competition, so this will be a significant boost for tourism and the local economy.”

Sponsors included NL Leisure, CMS Windows, Event Scotland, Amey and Clyde 1.

Don’t miss next week’s Motherwell Times for more pictures and a full report of the event.

Highlights will be shown on ITV4 at 10.15pm tonight (Wednesday), with a repeat at 8am tomorrow.