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The Tour Series is back

Whether it is the tragic recent deaths of two riders that has hogged the headlines or the excitement of the Giro D’Italia route, I am not sure. But, for me the 2011 Halfords Tour Series seems to have arrived without the pomp and ceremony of the last couple of years and I don’t want it to suffer as a result.

We have already lost the Kettering round of the event thanks to funding issues so protecting an event that harks back to our cycling heritage is paramount.

UK racing has been based on criterium racing for as long as I can remember. The battles between Joey McGloughlin of Ever Ready and the Banana team of Chris Walker, Shane Sutton and Chris Lillywhite were key, alongside the annual channel 4 Tour de France coverage, in getting me in the saddle and riding a bike.

I wanted to win a Kelloggs yellow jersey and would zoom around our village on my first racer pretending to be Malcolm Elliott.

After a lull in city centre cycling of too many years, the Tour Series has brought it back into focus and back onto our television screens. A new generation is waiting to be captivated by iconic domestic teams such as Rapha/Condor/Sharp and Endura racing.

The ingredients are in place.

Now we have to keep supporting it year after year and establish it as part of the sporting calendar.

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