Olympic, Commonwealth and world cycling champions will tonight race through the Granite City – and it’s free to watch.
Following a successful debut appearance in Aberdeen last year, the Tour Series is back with an even stronger field battling it out in high octane racing through the city streets.
Three-time Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy will race tonight for JLT Condor, the reigning Tour Series champions.
Clancy, 33, won team pursuit Olympic gold at Rio 2016, London 2012 and Beijing 2008.
He is a six-time world champion and also won Olympic bronze in the Omnium in 2012.
JLT Condor also boast Jon Mould, who recently claimed road race Commonwealth Games silver in Gold Coast.,Australia.
Tour Series race director Mick Bennett said: “Aberdeen last year was incredible.
“This year we have more world, Commonwealth and Olympic champions than we have ever had.
“It is an even bigger, stronger field this time.
“In the men’s event we have current world medallists racing in Aberdeen and there are also the established Olympic medallists like Ed Clancy.
“Aberdeen is a very technical circuit and it was a fantastic race there last year. Hopefully it will be the same again.”
The cyclists race on a circuit that begins and ends on Union Street and takes in Union Terrace, Rosemount Viaduct/Schoolhill and Back Wynd.
Triple Olympic champion Clancy clocked the fastest lap over that route last year with a time of 1:40.306.
Jack Pullar of Canyon Eisberg won the race in Aberdeen last year with BIKE Channel Canyon the triumphant team.
The festivities begin at noon today with the youth support races. There is then the corporate race (2.20pm) and the men’s second/ third category race (3.45pm).
The Tour Series Women’s race begins at 5.30pm before the men’s race at 7.30pm.
Podium celebrations are at 8.45pm on the junction between Union Street and Bridge Street.
There is also a Cycling Activity Village with free fun-filled activities for all to enjoy at Union Terrace Gardens.
Bennett said: “Last year we had more than 1,000 participants with all the support activities, it was incredible.
“The turn-out from supporters was absolutely fantastic.
“It is a great free show for the whole family and can inspire young people as well as mums and dads to get on their bikes.
“An event of this nature can be inspirational.
“The public can get up close with the riders as they are happy to sign autographs.
“They will happily oblige and they are always wiling to offer advice and inspire families and children to get on their bikes.
“Events like the Tour Series are an opportunity to promote the sport.”
Overall winners for the past two editions JLT Condor will defend their title against seven UCI Continental teams including 2015 champions Madison Genesis.
Bennett today confirmed the Tour Series would be open to returning again after this year’s event to entertain Aberdeen race fans.
He said: “As long as Aberdeen wants us back we will come and so will the riders.
“That is up to the politicians and city council, though.”
Scottish-based Spokes RT are in action as a guest team today and boast Aberdeen’s Struan Pryde as well as recently-crowned Commonwealth Games gold medallist (Points race) Mark Stewart.
For Bennett, the British riders competing in the Tour Series field today underline the strength of the sport.
He said: “We like to show and illustrate the versatility of the teams and riders.
“No matter who we invite from overseas the British riders are the best in the world at this.
“We are constantly producing champions.
“The Tanfield brothers (Charlie and Harry) emerged to win Commonwealth medals this year.
“They have shown that with the right training, programme of racing and guidance, you can beat the best in the world.“