Tour Series tipped to be best yet

Pedal Heaven in action during the Tour Series team time trial in Ryde last season. Picture: Larry Hickmott/velouk.net

Pedal Heaven in action during the Tour Series team time trial in Ryde last season. Picture: Larry Hickmott/velouk.net

80-year-old to pedal 80 miles

  • Tour of Britain qualification points to add extra dimension
  • Portsmouth finale captures Pedal Heaven imagination
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Tim Elverson is convinced the 2016 Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be the most competitive yet.

But Pedal Heaven’s directeur sportif reckons his squad have what it takes to improve on last season’s superb third-place finish.

We finished third in the Tour Series last year. And I believe, the way our team is set up, there is no reason we can’t do even better this year

Tim Elverson

And he is confident Hampshire’s newly-promoted UCI Continental team can be in with a shout of glory when the series climaxes in Portsmouth on Thursday, June 9.

Elverson is under no illusions what his outfit will face when the action gets under way in Ramsay on the Isle of Man on Thursday, May 12.

Organisers Sweetspot have introduced a new qualification system for the Tour of Britain (ToB), which will factor in Tour Series results.

The finer details will be revealed at the ToB launch in Bristol on Thursday, when the route will also be unveiled.

But the Pedal Heaven chief is adamant the incentive of a place in the country’s biggest stage race will see the racing cranked up a notch.

Elverson said: ‘The Tour of Britain now has a qualifying system set up by Sweetspot, which combines the Tour Series and all the UK UCI races.

‘The only given is Team Wiggins will be in there because Owain Doull was the highest-placed domestic rider last year.

‘They are the only given, everybody else has got to qualify. That means there is a lot more importance on all those UK races.

‘We finished third in the Tour Series last year. And I believe, the way our team is set up, there is no reason we can’t do even better this year.

‘But having said all of that, some of the teams who maybe haven’t taken it quite as seriously as they should have in the past, will do so now because they have to qualify for the Tour of Britain.

‘That will make quite a big difference to everyone’s race plan.

‘But we are really looking forward to it, especially with the finale being what we would consider a home race in Portsmouth.’

Pedal Heaven finished outside the top four in just one Tour Series race last season.

Their consistency and teamwork shone through with nine podium finishes, including second in the hill climb at Aberystwyth and third in the time trial in Ryde.

Meanwhile, Alex Paton underlined his own importance to the squad with three individual top-10 finishes in the races at Aberystwyth, Croydon and Canary Wharf.

The complete schedule for the 2016 Tour Series will be announced at the iceBike* show on Saturday, February 27.

For more information on the Tour Series, visit tourseries.co.uk

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