Dave Povall has called on south-coast sport fans to come out and back the Pearl Izumi Tour Series when it clamaxes in Portsmouth on Thursday, June 9.
The new co-manager of reigning champions Madison Genesis knows all about the excitement of the exhilarating criterium races – having led UK Youth to the crown in 2013.
Instead of being sat at home watching Coronation Street or something, you could come out and see some of the best guys on the domestic scene tearing around the town centreDave Povall
Now he is determined to challenge for glory with his new squad – and he is expecting the title to be decided in the Guildhall Square finale.
‘In recent years the series has come down to the final round each time,’ said the Welshman, who masterminded a record nine race wins from the 12 rounds in 2013.
‘If people in Portsmouth are tuning in to the highlights on Wednesdays and Fridays preceding our visit here, they will get an idea for not just the tension but what is at stake, too.
‘They will see how highly regarded and highly valued that trophy and those jerseys are.
‘It is one hour of high-tempo, very fast racing.
‘You get a little idea from TV, with the moto cams and all that.
‘But if you come down and hang over the barriers to see these guys cornering, it’s something else.
‘They are some of the all-round best professional cyclists in the country.
‘It is a really great night out. They tell me it is always sunny down here, too, so if we can book the sun, we will have a really good south-coast day.
‘I know the people here love their sport. They get behind their football and they are loyal, so it would be good to see a great turnout.
‘Instead of being sat at home watching Coronation Street or something, you could come out and see some of the best guys on the domestic scene tearing around the town centre.’
Povall managed Metaltek-Kuota in 2014 before joining NFTO last term.
He is now relishing his opportunity at Madison Genesis – where he will be co-manager with Roger Hammond, who will split his own time with World Tour outfit Dimension Data.
But the heat is firmly on after a few words from Madison marketing director Kellie Parsons.
Povall said: ‘I had an email from Kellie saying we have to retain the trophy. So no pressure!
‘It’s not quite that straightforward. The last few years the level has really gone up.
‘UK domestic cycling is taken for granted by some because it is on the doorstep. But the level is good, really good.
‘Just look at the number of internationals who are happy to come here and race. They are not just here to pick up a pay cheque.
‘So for the Pearl Izumi Tour Series to be able to bring those guys into towns and city centres throughout Britain and hopefully engage the young and old in cycling is a big deal.’
The Tour Series, which comprises of 10 rounds of city centre circuit racing, begins on the Isle of Man on May 12.
And it is all about the team result – with the winner of each round decided by the combined time of the first four finishers in each squad.
Highlights of the whole series will be screened on ITV4.