The Halfords Tour Series kicks off tonight on a tight, one-kilometre circuit around the offices, bars and shops of London’s Canary Wharf, giving cycling fans in the capital – and many more through TV – the chance to have a first look at our very own Kuota-road.cc team.
While Canary Wharf may not quite be Rapha Condor Sharp’s back yard, they are the designated home team for this round, and it’s probably fair to say that many of the cyclists working in the offices in the area would fall into the clothing sponsor’s ideal demographic.
Whether they’ll be able to take full advantage of being on home roads remains to be seen – some of the riders may be suffering the after-effects of a long trip back from the Far East, where British Road Race Champion Kristian House last week scored a stage win in the Tour of Japan.
As in the debut Tour Series last year, the competition pits team against team for the title of overall champion at the end of the ten hour-long races, but there’s an added twist this year with Boardman Bikes sponsoring a new sprint prize, which should ensure an even more frenetic pace as riders seek to take the points on offer during the intermediate sprints.
Besides Rapha Condor Sharp and Kuot-road.cc, eight other teams are contesting the right to be called series champions this year – the others being Team Ireland, Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta, Endura Racing, Team Raleigh, Pendragon Le Col Colnago, Sigma Sport Specialized and Team Corley Cycles.
If you’re anywhere near Chester on 21 June, that happens to be the round when Kuota-road.cc is the home team – the bike brand is based locally – so make a date in your diary now and get along to cheer on the boys.
If you aren’t able to catch tonight’s race live, you can watch the action tomorrow evening at 7pm on ITV4, and the broadcaster will be showing highlights of each race in the series the evening after it takes place.
As if that weren’t enough, for all but the first and last races, we will have some Tour Series-related goodies up for grabs, so keep an eye out for those here on road.cc soon.
The full calendar is as follows:
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
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.