Track legend Chris Boardman, who wore the Tour de France yellow jersey on three separate occasions following his switch to the road, paid a flying visit to London’s Canary Wharf yesterday as his Boardman Bikes brand was unveiled as sponsor of the Sprints competition in the Halfords Tour Series, which gets under way on the streets around Britain’s tallest building on 25 May.
Joining him were representatives from all but one of the teams competing in the series, including Kuota-road.cc’s Flying Dutchman Jeroen Janssen, and we were there as well to capture the launch in pictures.
Last year’s Sprints jersey winner, Russ Downing, won’t be around to defend his title, having moved up to the ProTour ranks with Team Sky, and there is sure to be some strong competition to succeed him once the ten-race series starts with what promises to be a fast and furious one-hour battle around a tight one-kilometre course, including three sprints at 15-minute intervals.
Talking about his involvement in the competition, Chris Boardman said: “It's great for Boardman Bikes to be involved in this year's Halfords Tour Series. With the phenomenal success of last year's events, it made sense for us to go from the winning teams bike sponsor, to becoming the Sprint competition sponsor."
Mick Bennett, Technical Director at SweetSpot, which organises the Halfords Tour Series as well as the Tour of Britain, welcomed the new partnership, saying: "We are delighted to welcome Boardman Bikes to the fold as sponsor of the Sprints Competition in the Halfords Tour Series. The Sprints are all about speed and performance so there is great synergy with the Boardman Bikes brand.”
He continued: "We have the strongest field of cyclists ever to take part in the Halfords Tour Series this year and The Boardman Bikes Sprint Competition Series will give the sprinters in the teams even more to fight for, whilst providing spectators with breathtaking displays of power and skill at each televised race."
The ten-event series runs on weekday evenings from 25 May to 24 June and full details of all races as well as course maps can be found on the Halfords Tour Series website, with each venue also building its own programme of bike-friendly events around the racing.
With the exception of Chester, where the race is held on a Monday to avoid a clash with World Cup football, all of the races will be held on either a Tuesday or Thursday evening, and screened on ITV4 at 7pm the following evening.
Meanwhile, if you’re near Lincoln, you can catch Kuota-road.cc racing this Sunday at the Lincoln Grand Prix in a field headed by the Team Sky trio of Russ Downing, Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.