Less than a week to go until showpiece curtain raiser at Canary Wharf

There is now just under one week to go until The Halfords Tour Series gets underway with an iconic curtain raiser at Canary Wharf on Tuesday 25 May.

Canary Wharf opens proceedings in the ten round Halfords Tour Series that will see Britain and Ireland’s top teams go head-to-head for the right to be crowned the number one team in the country.

Unlike any other cycling series in the world The Halfords Tour Series is not based on individual athletic performance but instead on team performance. Ten teams of five professional cyclists, including World and Olympic Champions, will fight to become overall Halfords Tour Series champions.

Round One sees the riders battle it out beneath the office towers of Canary Wharf as they tackle a 1km circuit centred on Cabot Square and Canada Place at the heart of the world famous business and shopping district.

With 50 cyclists racing for the best top three positions and the right to pull on the first set of Halfords leader’s jerseys, there is guaranteed to be one hour of fast-paced and attacking racing, with plenty of thrills and spills.

Rapha–Condor–Sharp are the home team at Canary Wharf and they have set their stall out for a commanding start to The Halfords Tour Series with Directeur Sportif John Herety naming a very strong five rider line-up of British Champion Kristian House, Graham Briggs, Zak Dempster and top sprinters Dean Windsor and Dean Downing, with 2009 Chester winner Darren Lapthorne named as reserve.

The team are currently competing in the Tour of Japan and will be returning directly to London to compete in the opening round of The Halfords Tour Series.

Lining up against the ‘Men in Black’ will be nine other top professional teams led by Olympic and World Champion Ed Clancy’s Motorpoint–Marshalls Pasta team. Clancy includes fellow Beijing Olympic medallist Steven Burke amongst his teammates, while former World Champion and Olympic medallist Rob Hayles and New Zealand national champion Jack Bauer lead the charge of the Endura Racing team.

Former British Champion Matt Stephens leads the Sigma Sport–Specialized team, who include top sprinter Stephen Adams, while the riders of CyclePremier.com– Metaltek have proved to be in excellent form in recent weeks, making the team led by former Commonwealth Games and World Track Championship medallist Tony Gibb, potential winners of Round One.

Team Corley Cycles and Pendragon – Le Col–Colnago have fast men Simon Gaywood and Chris Opie amongst their respective squads with the famous name of Team Raleigh and Team Ireland, who become the first non-British team to compete in The Halfords Tour Series.

Rounding out the ten teams, of course, our own home team Kuota – road.cc with the double-Dutch attack of Jeroen 'JJ' Janssen and former international speed skater Jefte de Bruin. Team manager Cherie Pridham says, "We are ready to rock!"

Two days after the wide boulevards of Canary Wharf come the cobbled climbs of Durham on Thursday 27 May for Round Two of The Halfords Tour Series, sure to make for another exciting evening’s racing, and a drastically different challenge to that of the opening race.

“Canary Wharf is a fantastic venue for our showpiece curtain raiser of the 2010 Halfords Tour Series,” said Mick Bennett, Technical Director for the Halfords Tour Series.

“All ten teams will be going all out to be able to say that they were the winners at Canary Wharf and pulled on the first five Halfords leader’s jerseys.

“Canary Wharf is the beginning of five action packed weeks of top-class professional town and city centre racing. We have a fantastic variety of circuits to challenge the riders over the coming ten events, so whoever are crowned the Champions after Round Ten in Woking will definitely have earned their place on the podium.”

Entertainment at Canary Wharf gets underway at 4pm, including pop classics sung by the London Community Gospel Choir, the Solid Steel Ambassadors steel drum band and cheerleaders from Pineapple Studios.

The Canary Wharf Corporate Grand Prix takes place at 6pm, and sees teams from some of London’s leading companies, anchored by professionals, racing around the famous business and shopping district, before the elite Halfords Tour Series race begins at 7pm.

Highlights of every round of The Halfords Tour Series will once again be shown the following evening on ITV4, so tune in on Wednesday 26 May at 7pm to see all the action from Round One at Canary Wharf.

The Halfords Tour Series and The Tour of Britain are proud to be partnered with The Prostate Cancer Charity.


2010 Halfords Tour Series Schedule

   Round 1    Tue 25th May    Canary Wharf
   Round 2    Thu 27th May    Durham
   Round 3    Tue 1st June    Portsmouth
   Round 4    Thu 3rd June    Exeter
   Round 5    Tue 8th June    Southport
   Round 6    Thu 10th June   Kettering
   Round 7    Tue 15th June   Peterborough
   Round 8    Thu 17th June   Stoke-on-Trent
   Round 9    Mon 21st June   Chester
   Round 10   Thu 24th June   Woking