Pro-riders taking part in the Redditch Tour Series this May took time out of their busy schedules to meet schoolchildren in the town.

The Redditch Ovo Energy Tour Series is just seven weeks away and returns to the town on 10 May.

Sponsors of the race were in Redditch at the Kingfisher Shopping Centre yesterday (Wed).

After the launch, the pro-riders Ben Manfield-Yorke from Morvelo Basso who is based in Bridgnorth and local girl, Beth Crumpton from Storey Racing went to visit Matchborough First School Academy and St Stephens C of E School where hundreds of local children got the opportunity to quiz the riders on road safety, training and what it’s like to be in a race.

Beth Crumpton said: “It’s fantastic to get out and meet so many enthusiastic and excited young people; it’s an honour to go into schools and talk about a sport I am so passionate about – seeing young people get inspired to cycle more.

“It’s a tough but great course. There’s a climb in nearly every corner so you have to watch the speed and have good technique. It has something for everyone so people love racing here.

“I always love racing in Redditch because it’s my hometown. Racing on the day makes all the training worthwhile. It’s nice to see familiar faces as everyone comes out to watch and cheer.”

Ben Manfield-Yorke added: “I’m so excited to ride the course for the first time – everyone says it’s amazing, especially the technical corner.”

Beth and Ben’s top tips for budding cyclists were to have fun, be safe and always wear a helmet. Both schools will be taking part on the Tour Series day and cheering on their new favourite riders, Beth and Ben.

Fiona Fazey from Kingfisher Shopping Centre said: “We are very proud to be a headline sponsor again for the seventh year of the Redditch Tour – it’s great to see spectators coming out and enjoying the day and we are very much looking forward to the 10 May.”

A representative from Boardman was also at the launch to support Beth from Storey Racing. Chris Barnet from Boardman said: “We are very proud to support Beth and Storey racing. It’s great to see a local girl, on a local bike, racing in a local race which puts cycling in Redditch on the map nationally. They had a great season last year and we wish Beth and the team all the success in this year’s Tour Series race.”

Lorna Jeynes, Business Growth Manager from Worcestershire County Council said: “It has been great to get all the sponsors together, there is a real buzz for the event and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the businesses who have supported us so far. Kingfisher Shopping Centre, Beer Cycle, Leaders, the Chamber of Commerce, Worcestershire Ambassadors as well as our delivery partners such as West Mercia Police, Redditch Town Council and Diamond Buses. Without everyone’s support, we couldn’t make the event happen.”