The Tour Series is Britain’s best-loved series of city centre circuit races. Since 2009, it’s granted an early opportunity to blossoming British talent. Brother UK has sponsored The Tour Series since 2014 and served as Official Print and Results Partner since 2016. We proudly sponsor the Brother Fastest Lap competition, too.
This episode is the second instalment of a two-part preview of the 2021 Tour Series. Co-hosts Timothy John and Phil Jones, the Managing Director of Brother UK, are joined by Larry Hickmott, the editor of VeloUK.net
. The trio discuss key points from part one: a documentary-style examination of crit racing, also available from this platform.
Reigning British Circuit Race Champions Joey Walker and Rebecca Durrell shared insights in our investigative episode. Tim reflects on Joey’s revelation that elite riders must always race on the very limit of crashing, such is the speed and intensity of top-level crit races like those featured in The Tour Series.
Phil offers his first impressions of all-action crit racing (“flat out from the gun and hold on till the line”) and a more detailed analysis based on the huge “situational awareness” that a rider must have to process the position of rivals, team-mates and instructions received while passing the pits.
Larry considers the star performers of the season-to-date and reflects that The Tour Series will represent a first coming together. He identifies Lucy Lee and Dani Shrosbree of Team Brother UK-LDN, Team Breeze and the Brother UK-sponsored Crimson Performance men’s squad among those to watch when The Tour Series begins.
A condensed, week-long campaign represents The Tour Series’ return from its Covid-enforced absence last year. Councils have traditionally invested in hosting rounds. Many now face budget shortfalls, following austerity and a public health crisis. Phil argues that the need to reinvigorate town centres offers race organisers a new selling point.
Larry reports on the huge crowds who attended the recent National Circuit Series events in Otley and Ilkley. He reflects on public desire for enjoyment and events after a series of lockdowns. Covid, he concedes, continues to present elite cycle sport with an uncertain future, in the short-term at least.
Tim argues that this September’s Tour of Britain will represent a valuable barometer of public opinion. Britain’s national tour has its “grand départ” on the Cornish riviera in September. The willingness or otherwise of crowds to gather in towns like Penzance to greet the race will be revealing, Tim maintains.
The trio considers the roster of top performers who have established reputations at The Tour Series. Alice and Hannah Barnes, Graham Briggs, Ed Clancy, Dean Downing, Grace and Lucy Garner, Anna Henderson and Tom Pidcock are just some who used its town centre circuit races as a springboard to stardom.
Listen now to enjoy insights from Tim, Larry and Phil and whet your appetite for the return of The Tour Series. Don’t forget to check out part one of this episode for insights from Joey Walker (Crimson Performance-Orientation Marketing), Rebecca Durrell (CAMS-Basso), Peter Hodges (SweetSpot) and Mark Botteley (Team Brother UK-OnForm).