RICHARDSONS-TREK Road Team are gearing up for one of their biggest challenges of the cycling season, and their team manager says they are only going to get better after an excellent start to the year.

The Leigh-based team has secured some fine results in the opening months of the season, as they compete alongside a number of professional and better resourced outfits.

Richardsons-Trek are now gearing up for the start of the 2017 Tour Series, with 10 city-based races for teams – with the time of all five riders more important than the individual winner as they race for the lowest cumulative time.

The Essex team will compete against professional teams in upcoming races in Wembley, Croydon and Bath, having won their place after triumphing in the Southern Guest Team competition.

And Lyons says it is a great opportunity for Richardsons-Trek’s young riders to make a name for themselves, with highlights of each round televised on ITV4.

“The series is split into three regions and we are competing in the southern area races,” said Lyons. “We have minimal resources so we need to be selective.

“We performed well against the professional teams last year and if we do again we may stand a chance of getting the guest team final place, with the race held in Stevenage at the end of May.

“It is tiring for a team our size to ride the whole series but it is great exposure for us and if we can get additional sponsors from it, or the boys talents are recognised then that is brilliant.

“But we are competing in the Lincoln GP on Sunday and that is an important race for us so we are focusing on that first.”

George Wood, Luke Ryan, Ollie Maxwell, Josh Outram, Kieran Brady and Frank Longstaff are among those bidding for a place on the start line at Wembley Park next Wednesday, with teenager Longstaff already confirmed as a starter.

Longstaff, from Chelmsford, has been among a number of riders picking up excellent recent results, with Canvey’s Wood securing victory in the Les Ingram Memorial Road Race and Outram finishing in the top 10 of the Chorley Cup – one of the Spring Cup races.

And with the team ninth in the Spring Cup standings ahead of the final round in Lincoln on Sunday and Outram in with a chance of being one of the best placed under-23 riders, Lyons says there is plenty to race for in the weeks ahead.

“It has been a great start to the season for everyone,” he said. “Having George back has been brilliant, Josh has been riding very well but I can’t pick anyone out really as everyone has been impressing.

“We are ranked eighth nationally as a team and we are only getting better.

“We have been doing well in Premier calendar events and we will be getting more points the more national events we compete in.

“Being among the pro teams is great, and we think we can continue to thrive.”

Richardson’s-Trek race in the Tour Series at Wembley Park next Wednesday (17), before visiting Croydon on Friday (19) and Bath the following Monday (22).

Highlights will be shown on ITV4 from 7pm on the day of the race.