After a hiatus, the Tour Series returns to London this year. After previous events at Wembley Stadium, Barking will host a round of the UK’s leading domestic cycle race series for the first time. It will be the first London round of the series since 2018 and will be the only one within the M25 border on this year’s schedule.
The Barking round will take place on Saturday 21 May, the Tour Series races will form part of the inaugural Barking BikeFest. The historic Abbey Green will provide the backdrop to a full day of community fun and cycle-themed activities.
This year, the Tour Series will begin to alternate the men’s and women’s races positions in the race schedule. Previously, the women’s race had always been first on the bill, with the men’s race on second. Both races will take place over the same one hour plus five laps distance, with the series continuing to offer equal prize pots for the winners. Also, the women’s race winners will receive the Mary Wollstonecraft Cup. The pioneering feminist that once lived in the borough of Barking.
The 1.2-kilometre (0.7-mile) circuit will run anti-clockwise around the perimeter of the Abbey Grounds. Featuring only four corners, two of which are sweeping, it is expected to be one of the quickest courses in the series’ 13-year history.
Youngsters from Barking and Dagenham Cycling Club will meet representatives of Barking and Dagenham Council this morning to launch the event.
“I know cycling fans have been clamouring for the Tour Series to return to London, so I hope they start making plans to come to Barking on Saturday 21 May! We’re excited to be a part of the first-ever Barking BikeFest, which promises to be a fantastic community event, and I can only thank everybody involved behind-the-scenes for all of their efforts so far. It’s going to be great!”Mick Bennett, Tour Series race director
“BikeFest is going to be a fantastic free event for all the family. Not only will it be a wonderful celebration of cycling and sustainability but also of equality.
“It’s fitting Barking is to host the UK’s first-ever gender-equal cycling event as I believe our borough is the birthplace of radical feminism in the UK. From Mary Wollstonecraft, who lived here, to the Dagenham Ford women strikers, this borough has always fought hard for fairness and quality.”Councillor Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council
“We’re really looking forward to the BikeFest which will have top class racing and will be a wonder community event to celebrate and promote cycling, healthy living and green sustainable travel.”Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, Barking and Dagenham’s regeneration arm, which is helping to organise BikeFest
The Barking BikeFest will run from 11am to 9pm on May 21st 2022 and will also include:
- Community BikeFest – mass participation events on the race course for local people
- The Green Village – community fun and entertainment on Abbey Green
- Electric Avenue- showcasing green travel technology