Redditch is to host an action packed day of professional cycling, as the televised, team based Halfords Tour Series comes to the Worcestershire town for the first time this May.
Left to right: Michael Berling (Cycle Premier - Kovert), Ed Dursley (Worcestershire County Council), Cllr John Smith OBE (Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport), Mayor Cllr Anita Clayton (Redditch Borough Council), Rod Freeman (Team Manager, Cycle Premier - Kovert), George Moore (Cycle Premier - Kovert) and Halfords Tour Series mascot ToBi
Redditch will be one of four new venues joining the unique team based Halfords Tour Series in 2012, with Britain’s top professional teams and cyclists arriving in the town on Thursday 24 May.
The elite cycling event is coming to the town as part of Worcestershire County Council's Choose How You Move Redditch project, which is aiming to boost the local economy, improve people's health and help the environment by promoting the many alternatives to travelling by car (cycling being an important one).
After a competitive bidding process it was confirmed by the Department for Transport last summer the project, supported by Redditch Borough Council, had successfully secured £2.8million to turn plans into a reality over the next three years.
Cllr John Smith OBE, County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: "The Halfords Tour Series coming to Redditch will be fantastic for the area and we're delighted to welcome it to Worcestershire for the first time.
"It will give people the chance to sample the excitement of this elite cycling race, in this a home Olympic year, hopefully inspiring people to saddle up and start pedalling in the future.
"The event will act as a launch-pad for the Choose How You Move project and be the first of the many as things progress to boost the local economy and improve the health of residents by promoting the many options available to get people from A to B."
Riders Michael Berling, from Denmark, and Solihull's George Moore, who both represent the Cycle Premier – Kovert team, joined Cllr Smith and Redditch Borough Council's Mayor, Anita Clayton in the town to officially announce The Halfords Tour Series leg today (April 2).
Redditch Borough Council's Mayor Cllr Anita Clayton said: "This is great news for Redditch as it will bring thousands of people to the town - and provide an exciting evening of sport too."
Alongside the elite professional Halfords Tour Series event will be a range of other cycling activities taking place in the town. Round Four in Redditch will also mark the home round for Series sponsors, Halfords.
Action from the Redditch round will be shown on ITV4 on Friday 25 May as the Series draws towards the end of its second week of competition, in what will be the fourth year of The Halfords Tour Series. The Series pits ten of Britain’s leading professional teams against each other, over the course of eleven one-hour town and city centre races, for the right to be crowned the leading team in Britain.
“We are very happy to be bringing The Halfords Tour Series to Redditch in 2012 as one of our new venues for this season,” said Series Technical Director Mick Bennett.
“In 2007 and 2008 we enjoyed a very productive working relationship with Worcestershire County Council for The Tour of Britain, so we are very much looking forward to renewing our relationship and bringing The Halfords Tour Series to Redditch and thousands of new spectators in the Midlands this Summer.”
The 2012 Halfords Tour Series visits England, Scotland and Wales in one season for the first time ever, with Kirkcaldy in Fife hosting the start of the Series on Tuesday 15 May.