9-29th May 2017
The Tour Series is the British summer series of races that’s intensive, adrenaline-filled and fantastic to watch, whether in real life or on the highlights. There are ten races for the men, and eight of them alos have Matrix Fitness GP races for women in three weeks, from Motherwell in Scotland down to Bath in the South-West of England.
If you’re new to crits, they’re very fast races, LOTS of laps of very short courses – the race length is decided by number of laps to fit into the hour, rather than by distance, so on a cold, windy and rainy day, it will be a shorter distance than on a sunnier, calm day – but they always race for the same amount of time.
Crits are very spectator-friendly, as you get to see the riders pass over and over and over again, and can easily walk the whole course and see them from different angles, and still get back to the finish, where there’s a commentator explaining it all. On top of that, the Tour Series put on entertainment and stalls, including lots to eat and drink alongside the racing, so they’re really fun afternoon/evenings for everyone, whether you’re a hardcore fan or a complete newbie. I really recommend getting to one of the rounds, if you’re near one. I’ll be in Bath on 20th May, and if you want to hang out, leave me a comment or tweet me, and we can watch together!
TV and social media
You can find the full race timings and details on the race website, and the timings for each race are here if you click through to the round (generally the women’s races are between 5:30pm and 6:30pm UK BST – from 18:30 Euro CEST/12:30pm USA EDT/2:30am Australian AEST) and you can follow them live with the excellent race social media, including the @TourSeries twitter, instagram, and facebook, and the #TourSeries hashtag for everyone else’s views of the races.
Team lists and race numbers for the full Matrix Fitness GP Series are here.
The TV highlights are an hour long for each round, split between the men and the women, on ITV4. You can watch live on TV and online – most of the time they’re the day after each race at 7pm UK BST (20:00 Euro CEST, 2pm USA EDT, 4am Aussie AEST) – but check out the full TV schedule here. If you miss them live, they’ll be archived for 30 days on the ITV Hub.
There will be highlights on the SweetSpot YouTube, where you’ll also find videos from the other races they organise, the OVO Energy Women’s Tour and the men’s Tour of Britain – and the highlights will also be on the race website video page. There’ll also be photo galleries on their website, and if you have any questions at all, contact the team by social media – they’re really responsive, friendly, and completely dedicated to helping you love the racing as much as they do!
BIG thanks to Matrix Fitness for always being an amazing women’s cycling sponsor. If you, like me, love the women’s cycling at the Tour Series, please do thank them as well – and click through to the series sponsors on the race Partners page, and tell them all how much you appreciate their support.