A CUMBRIAN town is to play host to some of the world's best professional cyclists this year.

Barrow has been confirmed as one of the ten host venues of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in May.

It will be a one-hour race around a ‘closed circuit’ of streets in the Furness town. The race, to be held on Thursday May 15, is usually held during the early evening.

Barrow is the only venue in the North West this year and it is the first time Cumbria has ever hosted a Pearl Izumi Tour Series event. It will be the second date in the five-week series The event is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the town and will be televised by ITV4.

Coun David Southward, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet Member responsible for economic development, said: "I'm delighted that once again Cumbria will be playing host to some of the cream of world cycling in what promises to be a special event.

“Last year the Tour of Britain interested and inspired both young and old and I'm sure the Tour Series will ignite Barrow this year with its unique blend of excitement and economic benefits. It will be a big day for the town and there's lots to look forward to."

Barrow Borough Council’s spokesperson for sport, Coun Tony Callister, said: "What a fantastic opportunity this is to raise interest in cycling and the benefits that keeping fit and healthy do to increase our wellbeing. Our local residents will have the chance to watch fine athletes competing on their doorstep.

“Barrow has a rich history of sporting activity and once again being the centre of attention to the television and news media keeps Barrow well and truly on the map in top places to visit on the fringes of the Lake District. I’m looking forward to a top day of sporting activity and the benefits it will bring for local trading."

Past winners of the competition are Team Halfords Bikehut (2009), Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta (2010), Rapha Condor Sharp (2011), Endura Racing (2012) and Team UK Youth (2013).

The series will also visit Stoke, Peterborough, Aberystwyth, Durham, Edinburgh, Redditch, London (Canary Wharf), Woking and Jersey.