In pictures: Halfords Tour Series hits Oxford
Big crowds enjot the sunshine and the racing in event's first visit to university city
Round 3 of the Halfords Tour Series in Oxford on Tuesday night saw the sunshine bring out big crowds to watch Scott Thwaites of Endura Racing take the win, with his team consolidating its Series lead on a circuit featuring tight bends and fast straights. There are still eight rounds to go, starting tonight in Redditch, and while the weather can't be guaranteed, some great racing can, so it's well worth getting along to watch if you're near one of the venues.
Here are the remaining rounds:
Round Four Thu 24th May Redditch, Worcestershire Round Five Fri 25th May Aberystwyth, Ceredigion Round Six Tue 29th May Peterborough, Cambridgeshire Round Seven Thu 31st May Canary Wharf, London Round Eight Tue 5th June Torquay, Devon Round Nine Thu 7th June Colchester, Essex Round Ten Tue 12th June Woking, Surrey Grand Final Thu 14th June Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Kristian House went into the evening leading the Boardman Bikes Sprints competition; he'd lose the jersey by the end of the race, however, to Team Raleigh-GAC's Bernard Sulzberger.
Marcel Six of Metaltek Scott and Endura Racing's Dean Windsor would spend around a third of the race out in front; Six would take the evening's three Boardman Bikes Sprints to leapfrog House into second place in that contest.
The four corners on the circuit were rather tighter than the bends world and Olympic team pursuit champion Ed Clancy is used to negotiating in the velodrome.
The big crowd included a sizeable contingent from Oxford-based Zappi's Cycling Club, run by one-time Giro d'Italia rider Flavio Zappi, who owns a cafe above a bike shop in the city; his Zappi's Pro Cycling team was the guest turn at the Oxford round.
Dean Downing of defending champions Rapha Condor Sharp leads into a corner, tracked by riders from Endura Racing in the orange jerseys of series leaders.
Dean Windsor heads through one of the short straight sections at the technical top end of the course.
Team UK Youth would have a good night, moving up to second overall in the series standings, watched by manager Magnus Backstedt and team president Nigel Mansell - here's the former F1 world champion's son, Greg.
The cracking pace being set by the riders battling it out for the top places meant a draining race for those who spent the evening chasing.
Scott Thwaites (R) would take his second individual win of the 2012 Halfords Tour Series, with Endura Racing team mates Windsor (L) third and Jonny McEvoy fifth as the Scottish outfit consolidated its series lead.
All pictures © Simon MacMichael