The men’s and women’s HSBC UK | National Road Series get underway with the East Cleveland Klondike this weekend, signalling the start of the battle for the prestigious individual and team titles and, for the men, the race for OVO Energy Tour of Britain qualification points.

While the women will compete over eight rounds, the men battle over 11 as follows:

Round 1: East Cleveland Klondike Men’s Grand Prix – Sunday 14 April

Round 2: Chestnut Homes Lincoln Grand Prix – Sunday 12 May

Round 3: Lancaster Grand Prix – Sunday 9 June

Round 4: Bristol – Sunday 16 June

Round 5: Tour of the Reservoir – Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June

Round 6: Beaumont Trophy – Sunday 7 July

Round 7: Stockton Grand Prix – Sunday 14 July

Round 8: South Coast Classic – Sunday 28 July

Round 9: Cycle 360 Manx International Stage Race – Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 August

Round 10: The Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix – Sunday 18 August

Round 11: Leicester Castle Classic – Sunday 25 August

With established and new events on the calendar, the series promises to be a fantastic showcase of road racing, with the first nine rounds counting towards OVO Energy Tour of Britain qualification. The full criteria is available here.

Six UCI-registered teams (Canyon DHB p/b Bloor Homes, Madison Genesis, Ribble Pro Cycling, Swift Pro Carbon, Team WIGGINS Le Col and Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother) will be competing for four invites to the Tour, while a collection of other teams and riders looking to make their mark on the overall series standings.

Among the riders to watch will undoubtedly be reigning national champion Connor Swift, who will again line up in the colours of Madison Genesis. The 23-year-old is seen by many as having a point to prove after just missing out on a UCI WorldTour team contract, and will again be looking to underline his talent.

The strength in depth means that there are threats from across the peloton, though, with the likes of Ian Bibby (Madison Genesis), Scott Thwaites (Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother), Gabz Cullaigh and Tom Pidcock (Team WIGGINS Le Col), and Ed Laverack and James Shaw (Swift Pro Carbon) all among those looking to make an impression.