The Third Season of the Halfords race series has been announced by race organisers with two new venues joining the unique city centre based style of racing.
Eight rounds will pit the elite field against eachother with the series welcoming back a host of cyclists that fans will now be familiar with including Olympic medalists Ed Clancy and Steven Burke.
Aberystwyth will become the first Welsh venue to host The Series, while Oldham will represent Greater Manchester. Returning to the calendar for a third year are Stoke-on-Trent, Peterborough and Woking, while the tough cobbled climbs of Durham make a second appearance. Colchester also returns, having hosted a round of the hugely successful inaugural Series in 2009. The races will come to a conclusion amidst the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, where the champion team will be crowned.
Commenting on the announcement of the 2011 Halfords Tour Series, Andy Brotherton of Halfords said;
"As the largest bicycle retailer in Britain we want to help drive the sport of cycling wherever we can. Bringing The Halfords Tour Series to two new towns will further cement this unique style of team racing into The Series’ heritage.
"The Halfords Tour Series is more than an elite series. The event showcases some of our finest home-grown athletes and brings the sport to the attention of the wider public. We hope this exposure will inspire more people to get cycling."
Mick Bennett, Technical Director of The Halfords Tour Series said;
"We are very happy to be able to announce the eight venues that will hold a round of The Halfords Tour Series this season. The fact that we have two new venues joining the Series, and others like Colchester, returning to the calendar shows the popularity of the exciting, and unique, team based format.
"From Durham to Canary Wharf we can once again expect a thrilling and action packed four weeks of racing from Britain’s top professional cycling teams. This year The Halfords Tour Series really is too close to call, so spectators at all eight rounds should expect to see some more of the very close and exciting racing with which the Series has become synonymous."
The full 2011 Halfords Tour Series calendar is as follows:
Round One Tuesday 24th May, Durham
Round Two Thursday 26th May, Aberystwyth
Round Three Tuesday 31st May, Peterborough
Round Four Thursday 2nd June, Colchester
Round Five Tuesday 7th June, Stoke-on-Trent
Round Six Thursday 9th June, Oldham
Round Seven Tuesday 14th June, Woking
Round Eight Thursday 16th June, Canary Wharf
The new-for-2011 Johnson Health Tech Women’s Grand Series will take place at half the rounds, bring top-class women’s racing to the series for the first time. Races will be held at Peterborough, Stoke-on-Trent, Oldham and Woking where spectators will see some of Britain’s top female cyclists in action.
Full details of each individual round will be announced over the coming weeks as The Halfords Tour Series counts down to a spectacular first race at Durham on Tuesday 24th May. The first riders to pull on the five iconic Halfords orange leader’s jerseys will be crowned winners.
The ten participating teams in the 2011 Halfords Tour Series are CyclePremier.com, Metaltek; Endura Racing; Sigma Sport, Specialized; Team Raleigh, Team UK Youth. Twenty3c, Orbea, and GoSelfDrive.com.