Halfords Tour Series grand final comes to Stoke-on-Trent



Stoke-on-Trent will host the grand final of the 2012 Halfords Tour Series as part of a spectacular final day of racing that will also see Britain’s ten leading teams go head-to-head in an exciting team time trial event on Thursday 14 June.

In addition to the season closing circuit race, the unique televised, team based series will also feature a team time trial for the first time ever on the final day of racing, named in honour of one of Stoke-on-Trent’s most famous, cyclist Tommy Godwin.

Godwin, born in 1912 set the world record for the most miles cycled in a year, but in 2012 the ten Halfords Tour Series teams will be battling it out over two-laps of the city centre circuit for the right to be the series’ fastest team.

Councillor Mark Meredith, cabinet member for economic development for Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “We are delighted that we as a city are hosting the finals of The Halfords Tour Series and the Johnson Health Tech Womens’ Grand Prix and, of course, the Tommy Godwin Team Time Trial.

“This will be the fourth time we have held The Halfords Tour Series here but the first time we have had the final. The crowds always turn out and people of all ages get involved in the day. We have an excellent partnership with The Halfords Tour Series and I am thrilled that we are remembering one of our most famous sporting sons’ by having the Team Time Trial in the name of Tommy Godwin.

“In an Olympic year it is really good news and a real coup for the city that such a prestigious sporting event is coming to Stoke-on-Trent.”

Following the mid-afternoon Tommy Godwin Team Time Trial, Stoke-on-Trent will host the final of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series, before the final Halfords Tour Series round of 2012, the traditional action-packed criterium taking place over an hour of racing on the 1.2km circuit.

Among those present to officially launch The Halfords Tour Series will be recently crowned World Champion Andy Tennant of defending Series Champions Rapha Condor Sharp, former US Criterium Champion Daniel Holloway of Team Raleigh – GAC and two-time Halfords Tour Series round winner Ian Wilkinson of Endura Racing.

“We are delighted to be able to officially confirm that Stoke-on-Trent will host the Grand Final of this year’s Halfords Tour Series,” said Technical Director Mick Bennett. “Stoke-on-Trent City Council have been closely involved in the development of the Series since 2009, so it is fitting that we can bring what will be our biggest ever day of racing to the city this Summer.

“The Halfords Tour Series remains about much more than just elite racing, and with Stoke-on-Trent City Council we are very pleased at the impact and appeal the event continues to have in the city and beyond, and hope that this year’s Grand Final will encourage even more people to get on their bicycles”.

The Halfords Tour Series will begin with its first ever visit to Scotland on Tuesday 15 May, as Kirkcaldy welcomes round one. The tough, cobbled climb of Durham heralds round two, before a pair of new venues in Oxford and Redditch occupy week two of the series.

A first ever Friday night race sees the return to Aberystwyth for round five, before traditional venues Peterborough and Canary Wharf welcome fast paced, team based action back to their streets.

The Halfords Tour Series returns to the South West and Devon for Round Eight in Torquay, before the testing Colchester circuit concludes the penultimate week of racing.

Long-time Series venue Woking hosts Round Ten, before Britain’s top cycling teams head to the Potteries for the Grand Final, where the champions of the 2012 Halfords Tour Series will be crowned.

The ten teams who will be battling it out for that honour in the 2012 Halfords Tour Series are as follows, led by defending Champions Rapha Condor Sharp.

  • Rapha Condor Sharp
  • Cycle Premier – Kovert
  • Endura Racing
  • Metaltek Scott
  • Node4 – Giordana Racing
  • Team Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes.com
  • Team Hope Factory Racing
  • Team IG – Sigma Sport
  • Team Raleigh – GAC
  • Team UK Youth

Metaltek Scott, who boast 2010 Canary Wharf winner Tony Gibb amongst their ranks, Team Hope and Team Herbalife LeisureLakesBikes.com will all make their Halfords Tour Series debuts at round one in Kirkcaldy.

Highlights of The Halfords Tour Series will once again be screened on ITV4, with the terrestrial home of cycling showing all the action from every round of the Series the night after the race, with repeats the following day.

Stoke-on-Trent will also host the final round of the newly expanded five-round Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series in 2012.

The second edition of the series will see Britain’s leading female cyclists compete on town and city centre circuits in Oxford, Peterborough, Colchester and Woking, before heading to the Potteries as a part of The Halfords Tour Series Grand Finale on Thursday 14 June.

Jon Johnston, Managing Director of Stoke-on-Trent based fitness equipment supplier – Johnson Health Tech UK – said: “Feedback following last year’s Series has been really positive, with several new women’s teams being formed off the back of the Grand Prix, and early signs that the Tour Events are encouraging increased participation in physical activity – one of our industry’s core objectives. So we are delighted to be expanding on our previous sponsorship of the Horizon Fitness Grand Prix in 2010 and inaugural round of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix in 2011, with five rounds of thrilling action for 2012, particularly as the final will be staged in our home city."

Peterborough, Woking and Stoke-on-Trent all hosted rounds of the first Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series in 2011, with Oxford and Colchester joining the Series after two successful seasons of The Halfords Tour Series.

Councillor Anne Turrell, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series for the first time. The women’s race will be a great addition to The Halfords Tour Series men’s race returning to Colchester and the daytime community events in Castle Park. Together these will attract thousands of people to Colchester again for a great day out and word class racing.

“With an even more fun, action-packed programme it will be a wonderful opportunity for us all to get involved and celebrate Colchester as a place where people want to live, work and visit.”

“We are once again looking forward to the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series,” added Halfords Tour Series Technical Director Mick Bennett, “And very pleased that the Series has grown in 2012 thanks to demand from our venues wishing to host top-class women’s racing.

“The interest from teams and competitors has also grown from last year, which bodes well not just for this year’s Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series, but also for the future of the sport in Britain.”

Highlights of the Johnson Health Tech Grand Prix Series will be shown on ITV4 as a part of The Halfords Tour Series highlights on the channel.

Round One - Oxford - Tuesday 22nd May
Round Two - Peterborough - Tuesday 29th May
Round Three - Colchester - Thursday 7th June
Round Four - Woking - Tuesday 12th June
Round Five - Stoke-on-Trent - Thursday 14th June