With three months to go until the start of this year’s Tour Series, Cycling Weekly can reveal the teams it expects will be on the start line come the end of May.



Last year’s series was a great success with solid viewing figures on the road and at home with teams clamouring at the opportunity to take part in this year’s event.  



Endura, Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta, Rapha Condor Sharp, Raleigh, Sigma Sport Specialized (all UCI Continental-ranked teams) will all be riding along with Corley Cervélo, with Pendragon Le Col Colnago and Cycle Premier.com both expected to make the cut from the original 17 teams that applied.



Two continental teams are also widely rumoured to be taking part and are expected to complete the ten teams that will contest this year’s series.



Last year’s sixth-place finishers Sports Beans, now under the name of Wilier, unfortunately missed out on a place.



“To say I’m shocked is putting it lightly,” explained team manager and rider Ben Luckwell. “I’ve got pretty realistic ambitions about what this team can achieve and was 95 per cent sure we’d get a ride. There’s not much we can do about it [though], we’ve just got to move on”.



Make it a date

This year’s Tour Series will run for five weeks through the summer from the end of May until late June Cycling Weekly can reveal.



This year the event has been planned to coincide better with the National Circuit Race Series (which runs from May 28 until August 8) to make it easier for teams travelling between races.



Blackpool is widely rumoured to have lost its place in the series, whilst Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, which succumbed to major flooding in 2007, will make its debut.



Exeter, Southport and Woking have all been given a second showing in this year’s Series with the other locations set to be announced next week.



Tour Series teams

Endura

Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta

Rapha Condor Sharp

Raleigh

Sigma Sport Specialized

Corley Cervélo

Pendragon Le Col Colnago

Cycle Premier.com/Metaltek

Continental team TBC

Continental team TBC



Tour Series dates

First round (TBC) May 25

Second round (TBC) May 27

Tewkesbury June 1

Exeter June 3

Southport June 8

Sixth round (TBC) June 10

Seventh round (TBC) June 15

Eighth round (TBC) June 17

Ninth round (TBC) June 22

Woking June 24

Subscribe to Cycling Weekly magazine>>

  • Road Racer

    So,
    4 races in – Must admit i feel a little embarrassed for championing Kuota. Team Ireland seem quite away out of their depth. Other than the big 3 the others seem to be having good and bad nights but most of all proving their worth and inclusion. I’ve heard rumours of Willier ‘bad -mouthing’ the TS organisers about their exclusion – is this true ? – if it is, surely they won’t get in next year !
    Loving the TS on telly tho ! – Well done to all concerned.
    Dan

  • Dug Heaven

    Why still no page of venue dates, or results ? 31-5-10.

  • anorak

    Point taken Steve and hopefully they will do well this year. However, I’m confused at the strategy they are using to convince people they are a strong team? They say (although totally unrealistic given the budgets used by the big teams to buy top riders as Flavio mentioned earlier):

    “The Premier Calender is going to be our main objective this year…“With the current team we have a good chance of winning every race we enter.”

    but only send 2 riders to Rd 1, 4 or 5 riders to Rd 2 and entered 3 for Rd 3. Each team can enter 8 riders.
    Not surprisingly, they didnt show particularly well.

    I know they have sent other riders to lower events on the same weekends and collected more ranking points than they would get at a Premier, which keeps them up the rankings, but as David says, people will be wise to this and ignore the ranking. Surely, fully supporting a major BC competition and putting in a good team performance against the likes of Rapha, Endura, Motorpoint and Sigma will carry a lot more weight than a load of wins in lower level races and justify Prefontaine’s claim they are the rising star.

  • David

    I am neutral on whether Wilier should be in the TS or not..probably feel they should.

    On a different note the national individual and team rankings are pretty meaningless at one level because of the flaws in the system. So using them to indicate individual or team quality without understanding how they are calculated is very suspect. There are currently probably around half of the guys ranked in the top 20 Elites who havent gained any of their points from racing in top quality races (ie premier calendar). This also distorts the team positions as probably 6 of the top 10 teams have accumulated the vast majority of their points from races of “second tier ” or even below that. If you want a ranking above your ability the safe bet is to avoid racing premiers and find other lower level races, preferably on the same day. As an example, although no criticism of the riders or their team, but of a system that allows it and needs recalibrating. A UCI team put 8 men in the Premier last week and picked up a total of 6 ranking points between 8 of them over 3 days of racing. Two guys who didnt make the team rode a local race on one of those days and picked up 112 ranking points. The Prem Cal stages offered 30 points downwards for 15 riders, while several far inferior fields in local races on those days offered 60 points down for 20 riders. There is no comparison in the quality of fields but the points are totally disproportionate. No disrespect intended but there are probably a significant number of riders ranked top 30 who have accumulated all their points outside the Premiers. Some may well struggle to finish a Premier Cal Event, let alone score points if they are faced with riding against strong fields.

  • Road Racer

    Steve T – It’s a fair point….

    From BC Rankings 08/04/10

    1 Sigma Sport Specialized Cycling Team South East 941
    2 Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta RT West Midlands 703
    3 VC St Raphael South 620
    4 Endura Racing East of Scotland 585
    5 Wilier/Bigmaggys.com/Prendas Ciclismo South 561
    6 Team Raleigh East Midlands 429
    7 Rapha Condor Sharp North West 383
    8 Pendragon – Le Col – Colnago South West 341
    9 Team Zappi’s Central 340
    10 http://www.Cyclepremier.com – Metaltek East Midlands 325

  • Steve T

    While I agree that we are still very early on in the season and we don’t have very much to go on, the decision for entry into the Tour Series has already been made. Whether based on last seasons performance or this, Wilier should still be in the line up. That is my point.

  • anorak

    The debate seems to be moving on to using this seasons performances to justify a viewpoint-whether for or against.
    I agree with prefontaine that its too early to assess much. As there has only been 1 race where the top teams all attend, (The Res.), we cannot gauge anything from it, other than Sigma, Endura and Sprocket were the teams that proved strength in depth on that day. There were also some good individual performances, (eg Wilier, Motorpoint), but they were based on the riders own ability and not team generated, so not a guide to team strength beyond that rider.

    I would also take national team rankings with a pinch of salt, particularly early season. Several UCI teams race sparingly in this country early season because of overseas commitments. Hence, easier points for those who do race here. Take Endura as an example, their 8 starters had only done a total of 2 or 3 races between them in Britain this year. They would probably be ranked in the 200s before Sunday, but still put 4 in first 10 and 6 in first 20. They are still only 7th now . Rapha are at 14th and will probably end up in the top 2. There are also a number of guys ranked in the individual top 20 or so before Sunday, who finished way down, if at all.
    Perhaps we will learn more this w/end.

  • Steve T

    Roadracer has clearly missed the point. While crits may seem as different from longer road races as sprints to marathons, they really are not. As somebody else pointed out, the dominators in both races are often the same and while there maybe some racers that would call themselves specialists in the event, you should never rule out the longer race specialists. (and for the sake of argument, I bet Usain Bolt would run a bl**dy good marathon!)

    I think we all agree that the selection for the tour series is dodgey to say the least. I know its early in the season, but the fact that Wilier are 3rd in the rankings says all it needs to. Lets hope they carry on proving their worth throughout the season.

  • prefontaine

    Its all about betting on who’s going to perform and bearing with certain teams to provide the highest possible standards of racing.
    Anybody in control and making the decision as to ‘who’s in’ and ‘who’s out’ of the tour series this year with a modicum of common sense should in my opinion have judged that Sports Beans as was, is, or potentially could be an emerging star for 2010. Those weaker overall teams of 2009 who remain in the tour series in my opinion are probably not!
    However, only time will tell! So far, ( admittedly in a different style of racing) Big Maggys are for the first part of the season ‘that rising star!’

  • Big Ring

    If you look at the Tour Series last year you will find half the races were won by what you would call out and our Road Race riders i.e Tom Southam, Dan Craven etc. I think you find at this level the top riders in the UK are at the head of affairs in Crits and Road Races. However I do understand that some teams like Endure & Rapha should be automatically selected, but I can see that there are some teams that have not got in on their full merit of results & more importantly what the team offer in the way of reprensenting themselves in a professional way for such a high profile event. I can see that Wilier should be ahead of some of the teams that have been selected. lets hope Wilier can show they can be a serious contender in the Premier Calendar series. So well done to Marcin who got 4th in the first one, so great start. Just to note; historically in this country it has been the same riders dominating the road scene as well as the Crit scene!! so dont compare the events, the strongest still dominate!

  • anorak

    Careful road racer…whats this:
    “held in the far-out reaches of the country”
    Some of us live up here and I’ll have you know we’ve got hot and cold running water and colour television (LOL)

  • Steve T

    Couldn’t agree more Flavio and Chris. Congrats to Sigma for the win. Wilier yet again consistantly up there in the results.

  • Road Racer

    Flavio, Chris. Tour series is a series of City Centre, flat, fast one hour races held in summer time that are a speciality in the massive realms of cycle sport. Why are you trying to compare them to 4 hr hilly, windy desolate epic road races held in the far-out reaches of the country in march ? Surely it’s like sniping at Usain Bolts for running a marathon and not being up with the leaders !! I may be a newcomer to this sport, but even I can see there’s a difference !! Think you’re clutching at straws now.

  • anorak

    I can see the point you are trying to make, but feel sure someone will suggest that an 87 mile road race in some of the toughest conditions in the 20 odd years of the race’s history is hardly comparable to a 1 hour flat crit.

    Did Sprocket apply for the Tour Series?

    For the Premier races, Endura clearly showed strength in depth with 4 in the top 10 and 6 in top 20, (with Hales and Blaine not even riding), as did Sprocket. Sigma also dealt well with the strength of these teams to get the win. Marcin was strong, although in this whole debate, I do not recall anyone suggesting other than he is one of the leading riders in the country.
    Rafa had most of their endurance riders racing elswhere and Motorpoint had 3 guys in Copenhagen on the track……..feel sure they will both be contesting wins in future.

  • Chris

    I think the first Premier Calendar event was a very good indication of actually how good all these teams are. Notable teams to miss the break who have been given a tour series slot included, Raleigh, Rapha, Pendragon, Corley and I do not see any Kuota-Road CC in the results, in fact I don’t know if any of them started? I see that some rode the Dengie Marshes event and were all riding different bikes along with just using continental tyres branded clothing….so much for being a well presented Team fit for the Tour Series? Have they even a Team car? It becomes clearer as the season progresses that the best teams have not been selected for the Tour Series…..

  • Flavio

    If Rapha, Raleigh etc are head and shoulders ahead of the rest how come they didn’t have a rider in the TOP TEN of the first Premier Calendar race Tour of the Reservoir like Sprocket Pro Cycling and Wilier/BigMaggys/Prendas??

  • Mike

    Top deabate and good too see so much interest in domestic racing. Hope the Tour Series organisers are looking at this, who knows, maybe they are even taking part in it.

  • Road Racer

    Ok, this is a bit like my dad is bigger than your dad (guilty as charged your honour) and turned into dissing the teams that actually did fulfill the TS criteria and got in ! The only teams who i feel are worthy / capable of being there who are not, are in fact Willier and Felt (don’t even know if they applied !) So – why not make it a 60 rider, 12 Team field. I know you could say, why not go on and on and have 20 teams but then you’ll probably end up with some chippers again like cyclebargains and bmc. This I think is THE problem, Willier must feel they are the ONLY ONES NOT IN whilst they thought they had fulfilled all of the criteria and on a level the same in professionalism and talent as the ones that are in.
    Dan

  • anorak

    Interesting idea Matt, although as there is a limit of 50 riders, this would mean 9 not 10 permanent teams, which would cause more controversy in terms of who is excluded. In addition, I doubt there are more than 2 or 3 “local” squads that could race at this level, let alone the 10 you would need. The sharp end of the series this year will be very hot with the big 3, due to the size/quality of their squads, probably able to put out a ” B team” capable of competing with many of the other teams.

  • Steve T

    The selection criteria can be found on the application form which is available on the Tour Series website : http://www.tourseries.co.uk/TEAMAPPLICATIONFORM.pdf

    The criteria is supposedly based on the quality of riders in the team, team/riders performance across all British Cycling/UCI events in 2009, the teams performance in the 2009 Tour Series events and the teams’ history in the sport to date.

    Based on that criteria alone, are these the right ten teams?

  • Matt W

    Blimey it’s our very own tour wildcard selection meets conspiracy theory all wrapped up in one story.

    The TS has appeared to bring more teams into being which is a good thing all round. Why don’t the organsiers consider allowing a wildcard team into their “local event”. That way sponsors trying to get in on the act get a little exposure and it might persuade them to continuing sponsoring next year and maybe even increase funding?

  • Road Racer

    Answer to Big Ring – TS is a Team event where 3 riders count thats why i posted in response to Flavio saying that The teams he mentioned did have more depth than just one rider !!

    Flavio, Dave Clarke is a great climber – but that doesn’t mean he can’t ride crits unless no-one else turns up !! Chris Opie – you heard it here first ;-) Magnus is a fantastic asset to have on your side, but just because he’s involved doesn’t make the team perform any better. When i fly virgin atlantic, i don’t want Richard Branson flying the damn plane !!
    I’m a big Kuota fan (Italian owned company Flav) and JJ and Moz’s crit credentials are up there with the very best of them !
    we agree on the cycling bargains yawn team ! Absolutely shocking last year, no wonder they’re not back this year along with orbea – tho i suppose it has spawned the cycle prem outfit.
    I, like most of the posters on here presumably know a few people, and i’ve done a little digging into the selections etc. General concensus is that one of the stipulations of TS is a teams ability to start 5 riders every night. As i wasn’t around much at last years races, i can’t comment from personal sight but i’ve been lead to believe sports beans failed to do this on more than one occasion – apparently excuses such as broken bones etc don’t carry any weight !! So maybe TS had a look at all the applications this year and went with what they thought best at getting a full line up every night, ie teams with budgets to get to the events, strength in depth, full time/part time athletes etc. – Just an idea ;-)
    Danny.

  • Flavio

    Roadracer -
    The 3 big teams are indeed well ahead of the others but then again I am sure their budgets are 10x as big if not more…..
    In response to your comments on riders – all are good on their day but Dave Clarke is a climber who had a few results in National Crit series when everybody else was aiming for TS (through no fault of his own though as his team was not invited last year) . Chris Opie???? Jason White had a good result in MK before everybody else knew what to make of TS and it got serious……Andy Magnier is a good talent but has no results in crits that I know of same for Fleeman, looking forward to seeing him in hilly Premier races but I think he will be battered in TS as will most of the team with exception of maybe Stewart and Barras.

    As a keen supporter of Wilier (and there seems to be alot of support for them out there too and maybe i’m biased as the bikes are from Italy after all) have got to say as Sport Beans they where in my eyes the best of the rest, put on a great show considering two of their best riders had injuries, lots of character with the ‘Iceberg’ etc , a sponsor that everybody likes (sweets!) and great kit design etc etc. This year with Big Magnus behind them another great talking point…..Basically alot more going for them than say a CycleBargain Yawn Team…….

    In responce to Steve T – selection criteria sounds like its maybe based on how deep the teams pockets are from what I can see……surely using any other criteria Wilier should be selected in 4/5th place….

  • Steve T

    Does anybody actually know the criteria for being selected?

    Completely agree with Flavio and Big Ring. Im not attached to the Wilier team in any way, in fact, my heart lies with Pendragon, but even I can see that Wilier deserve a place if the criteria is based on performance and line up. I think they will do really well this year. Bialblocki, luckwell, perry, bayton, bergfelt… all consistantly do well in races… placing a few riders in the top 10. This year, they have a ten man team (apparently) , presumably to elimate the chances of what happened last year in the tour with injuries etc.
    Kuota – never heard of them before – only seem to have 7 of no better quality that Wilier.

    I think we will see a lot of teams struggle this year

  • Big Ring

    one question Road Racer – I thought the TS was a team event where 3 riders need to score!?! so what use is 1 or 2 good riders!!?? & as for Fleeman he looks to be the the last person I would put down as a crit rider “unless it has a 1 in 3 climb in it!!!
    Good luck to all these teams but they do look a bit weak in depth accept fro the obvious 3.
    I’m not going to say Wilier should be in, but some of the teams that have got in dont look to strong this year? better still good luck to team Kuota whoever they maybe!?

  • Road Racer

    Flavio
    Pendragon have got Dave Clarke – check his past performances in Elite crits ! Look out too for Chris Opie !!!
    Kuota, Dan Davies and Andy Tinsley – yeah getting on a bit but so is Malc
    Cycle Premier – Jason White (7th at TS M Keynes) Andy Magnier – Nat Team Pursuit Champ
    Raleigh – Fleeman (not a crit specialist) but i’d have him ahead of most sports beans (no disrepect intended)
    I think these teams all did what Tour Series wanted them to do – strengthen for crits !
    It’s like saying Astana is nowt without Alberto or Radioshack is poop without LA. These Teams exist because of these individuals !!
    We’ll have to wait till May to see who’s right or wrong !

    To answer another point, why is Jock wadley applicable to Tour Series ? If TS selection was based on an 80ml open road race in the depths of essex (why would it tho ????) don’t you think Pendragon, Motorpoint, Kuota, Cycle Prem would have had full squads there out in force ? It’s like saying where were Willier and Orbea milkshakes in the Eddie Soens – an event more applicable (tho a hcap) to Tour series style racing.

    There seems to be a lot of Willier bias here, whereas Anorak’s original ‘ranking’ about sums the selection up. It just shows how far actually the big 3 are in front of the rest !!

  • Flavio

    We all know how teams can have problems with injury/bad luck etc through out the course of a season, they can occur at the worst times too for example Biablocki and Luckwell of Sport Beans breaking collarbones/ankles during Tour Series etc Bearing this in mind (and of course I really do hope everybody stays fit and healthy) it would be very interesting to see how the following teams would get on without the following riders to call upon at TS this year.

    Pendragon without Yanto Barker
    Kuota without Mozley and Jannson
    Cycle Premier without Gibb
    Raleigh without Barras

    Think they would struggle for any placings whatsoever. And it would seem that Sport Beans (Wilier) have a squad of 10 strong riders who on their day could get results in most races. Strength in depth rather than putting all your eggs in one basket maybe??

  • Mike

    Blimey…best debate in a long while. Pretty level headed too whilst still remaining passionate.

  • Justin Goff

    Did anyone see the Jock Wadley results? Where exactly were Cycle “Premier”, Kuota? or Raleigh? Good to see Wilier and Orbea as the nearest teams to Rapha. Let’s hope they continue to let their legs do the talking all season long.

  • anorak

    Fair points Phil,
    thats a tough call re mechanicals , although just like penalty shouts at soccer,I’m sure some of the other teams will claim they had issues as well. Probably balances out over about 18 races of those top crits last year. The post is not knocking Wilier by the way, just putting some of the performances from other teams in perspective as some have been criticised in earlier posts, without any evidence.

  • phil

    A bit of an odd one this year, sad not to see Sportbeans (Wilier/BigMaggys/Prendas) on the list.

    I cant help but feel there’s something fishy going on when the new Tour Sponsors – Halfords – happen to have a new range of bikes coming out (Boardman range) – conflict of interests with Wilier perhaps?

    While I’m sure the Tour Series organisers are perfectly respectable fellows, it’s not unimaginable there may be large pressures from parties with big financial interests in the series?

    @anorak – it’s worth taking a look at some of the race reports about Wilier’s performances – not to detract from other team’s impressive riders – but for example Bialoblocki had a double puncture on lap 2/10 at Severn Bridge recently and Jon Pain had to stop to swap wheels – I hear Mark Perry and Grant Bayton performed well in that one but it’s always a blow having 2 riders out of action so early in the race.

  • anorak

    Interesting debate guys, particularly the emotional v practical thing. So, if it helps here’s some fact.
    As the BC site re-classifies last years results to reflect a riders current team to account for switching, its easy to see how strong this years new teams are likely to be, based on their riders performances last year. Based on Tour Series, Nat. Circuit Series and Nat. Circuit Champs, the number of top 10s achieved by this years squads are:
    Rafa 47
    Endura 29
    Motorpoint 24
    Kuoto 14
    Raleigh 10
    Corley 8
    Cycle Prem 8
    Sigma 7
    Pendragon 6
    Wilier 3

    Whoever said Wiler may be strong enough to challenge Rafa this year may wish to rethink it.
    Wilier do appear to have strengthened, but not with crit riders, as none of their recruits appear to have had a top 10 in any of the top crit. races last year. Maybe the strengthening will show in the Prems, although with only 2 riders entered for the first round, perhaps their focus is elswhere?

  • dangerousdescent

    Mark,

    I was merely trying to identify issues that may have led to the outcome given no criteria were published.

    I did not make any comment about Corley or Cycling Bargains. Nor did I suggest they were better than Wilier or should be in the series.

    As a response to an earlier post that questioned the strength of Sigma, Raleigh and Cycle Premier, I said those teams had signed riders who had been up the front of top level crits last year ( riding with other teams) which may have strengthened their case.

    I also said I would have liked to see Wilier in the event.

  • Mark Perry

    Firstly as a rider on Wilier/BigMaggys.com/Prendas (and Sport Beans/Wilier last year) thanks on behalf of the team for the supportive comments above – thats Jim, Chris, Jamie, Steve T and Pat (non of which I know I must add) Please feel free to contact Tour Series to stress your vaild points on our behalf……

    To ‘dangerousdescent’ please could you point out the ‘particulary strong’ performances that came from Corley Cycles, Cycle Bargains (this year Cycle Premier) in TS last year that warrant an invitation over us this year? I have friends on these teams and others like Pendragon , we get on well and wish them the best but the fact remains that last year the team was 4th in the National Rankings and one of only 4 teams to win a Premier (Marcin won Girvin Stage Race) and was 3rd in National Ranking at the end of the year.

    The team has been strengthened with 4 new signings (bringing the team’s riders up to 10) and thanks to new sponsors such as Big Maggys and Prendas as well as continued support from existing Sponsors such as Wilier and Sport Beans we should be there. I think most of the people that follow the sport ijn the UK or race themselves know that something is not quite right with the current lineup.

  • Road Racer

    I think all the Teams listed above are worthy of a place. Personally i’m glad Orbea didn’t get in as they don’t come across professional enough. They seem to be a bunch of mates who ride bikes and at this level, which has now had the bar risen, how can the DS put himself forward as a rider ? Surely that devalues the rest of the team ! They seem to remain much as the BMC outfit as last year which were even out shone by the 2nd cat blaggers cycle bargains. Only TS knows what the actual selection criteria is/was but i would imagine its something like : Predominantly Elite riders that specialise in crits, strength in depth – on the road as well as behind the scene, professional in appearance and organisation (for the telly), ability to field 5 riders every night etc etc. Should Willier get a place ? Maybe yes – they look worthy to be alongside Cyclepremier and Corley, but what about Kuota (was Planet X) They have 2 brilliant crit riders in John Mozley and Jerone Jansen and a half decent team, but i don’t think their management was up to speed to get the other bits sorted. All of these four Teams I think are stronger than Raleigh in the crits. So, what about the 2 tbc ? Anyone have an idea on those ? Sky ???
    Bring it on !! I’ts like the pro scene I grew up watching with the Kelloggs !

  • Jim

    I do agree with pretty much all the comments on here. It would be interesting to know the criteria for selection. It cannot be performance as sports bean finished well above corley, pendragon etc. last year. Have to assume its all down to sponsorship and money. Which is a shame but it’s the same in all sports I guess.

    Only other point was that yes last year they did seem to struggle with injuries but I think that could be dismissed this year with a ten man team. And they have a good mix of riders, lots of other events to look forward to outside of the tour series.

  • Mike Tarrant

    A well considered response from “D.D.” and have to agree with most of what he posted but with my emotional hat on, they should have been in. They were kinda “best of the rest” last year outside the “hitters” i.e. they have riders in the team who are not full time bike riders but hold down a job outside of their athletic endeavours.

    However, they were not a team that was solely created “to get on the telly” but a bunch of guys who enjoy racing their bikes just for the hell of it. The structure of the team looks good this year with some solid sponsorship and with “money to tight to mention” they have done well to draw in the likes of Wilier/Big Maggys and with Prendas (Santini) on board, they look the part.

    Although of the same mindset as other supporters of the team on this “Comments” thread, I guess i couldn’t boycott it as last Summer (roll on this year’s), one of the great joys was getting home from work by bike and settling down with a cold one to watch the “Tour Series” (way too many ad breaks though!)

    See you in front of the TV…..
    Mike

  • dangerousdescent

    I understand the disappointment and would have liked to see them in, although given the limited places I can see the difficulties of keeping everyone happy. Hopefully their performances in the Elite Circuit race series this year will justify this for next year, if they are as strong as suggested in earlier posts, although challenging the likes of Rapha are IMHO somewhat emotional, rather than realistic, I dont know why they didnt get in, however, their performance last year was’nt particularly strong, let alone “great” with no-one making the top 10 in 7 rounds and only one rider making the top 10 in each of the remaiining 3 rounds. Unfortunately, injuries probably do not carry weight with the promoters as they expect teams to have enough strength in depth to cover this and the major Circuit Race Series and Prem Cal. without needing to borrow riders or field weakened teams.
    Some of the other teams mentioned e.g Sigma, Raleigh, Cycle Premier have signed some riders who frequently made the top 10 in either the Tour or Elite Circuit Series which may have influenced selection. Willier may have strengthened but not with riders who were consistently achieving those results last year.
    I am not being critical of anyones past or future performances. If I put my emotional hat on, I can see reasons why they should be in, if I put my rational hat on I can see why they are not. ,….merely trying to see it from an organisers perspective which may exlain why we are all disappointed.

    I wish them all the best for the season.

  • Steve T

    Yea I agree with what everyone is saying. Its a total joke. Bergfelt, altho a bit dippy, was a great character for the series! They were a great team and to leave them out … considering lesser teams like Sigma, Raleigh, Corley, Pendragon are in it…. well…. shocker. Who decides who’s in it?! All seems a bit weird, in fact ,it stinks of corruption thinking about it.

  • Jamie

    BOYCOTT

  • Jim

    I would happily remove all 3, dangerousdescent, and more to get sports beans in. Sports Beans were great last year, really entertaining. ‘Mike’ knows his stuff. They have a REALLY strong team this year. I honestly think this is a ridiculous decision… how you cannot include a team that look set to give Rapha a run for their money is insane.
    I’m not watching the tour this year. It’s a joke.

  • dangerousdescent

    Presumably to get a ride Wilier need to have better CRIT riders and more strength in depth than other teams, so when committed to Premiers and Elite Circuit Series they are not struggling for riders at the Tour races
    Which of these 3 would you remove to fit them in?
    Corley Cervélo
    Pendragon Le Col Colnago
    Cycle Premier.com/Metaltek

  • Chris

    No Wilier BigMaggys.com Prendas Cycling Team, Does previous placing not matter a jot to the organisers. Shameful.

  • Mike

    Sport Beans were only one point adrift of 5th place in the Tour series and when you consider that their star rider Marcin Bialoblocki (winner of the Girvan 3 day and 3rd in Natinal rankings) was missing from their line up and that they were also without team captain Ben Luckwell for most rounds, this was a great achievement.
    This season they have new sponsors Wilier/Big Maggies/Prendas and with a plethora of solid sub sponsors, look set to be stronger than last season. A really unjustified ommission from the roster of Tour series’ teams.

  • Susan

    Shame Halfords seem to be missing from list, also there seems to be a lack of Northern Venues.

  • BigMig

    Disappointing that new comers Orbea-FGS didn’t get selected either…

  • Pat

    Wot no Sportbeans Wilier ??? It just won’t be the same without Bjergfelt crashing. Someone do something!!! A petition maybe….
    I’m really disappointed.