THOUSANDS of spectators will be descending on Salisbury next month as some of the country's best cyclists race around the medieval streets.

As part of the penultimate race of the OVO Energy Tour Series, the city will be hosting the free-to-attend event on May 23.

Having welcomed riders last year for the event’s 10-year anniversary, Britain’s leading televised cycle series was watched by 12,000 spectators as well as TV viewers around the world.

It memorably saw three-time Olympic champion Ed Clancy take individual honours in the men’s race.

The 1.2km circuit based around Guildhall Square and Market Place also holds good memories for the Canyon Eisberg and Team Breeze squads, who were crowned last year’s men’s and women’s series champions respectively in Salisbury.

“I think everybody involved with last year’s visit to Salisbury would describe it as the best round in the OVO Energy Tour Series’ proud history,” said race director Mick Bennett.

“The support and the enthusiasm – not to mention the noise – from the crowd that night will live long in the memory, and I hope that more unforgettable racing and that strong community togetherness will be created once again in May.”

Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE, leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “We’re delighted to once again welcome the OVO Energy Tour Series cycling to Salisbury.

“Last year’s event was such a huge success that we just had to bring it back to the city, and we hope this year’s races will be just as well supported.

“The beautiful city of Salisbury offers the perfect backdrop for cycling, and I hope both spectators and competitors alike will enjoy another fantastic evening of racing through the city’s streets.”

The Wiltshire venue joins Redditch, Motherwell, Aberdeen, Durham, Birkenhead and Brooklands as the last of the confirmed locations for the 2019 OVO Energy Tour Series.

Among the likely contenders to Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes’ crown are Madison Genesis, 2015 men’s champions and last year’s runners-up, Team WIGGINS Le Col and Vitus Pro Cycling. Meanwhile Storey Racing and Brother-Tifosi look set to challenge Team Breeze in the ever-competitive women’s title race.

As well as being an unticketed, free-to-attend event, the OVO Energy Tour Series is unique in the world of cycling, as the focus in both the men’s and women’s competition is on the teams, who battle for the overall title based on the performance of all five of their riders in each round.

Highlights of the OVO Energy Tour Series are screened on ITV4 and broadcast around the world, while event days provide the opportunity for a range of community and cycling activities to take place on closed-road circuits.