Colchester will welcome the return of The Halfords Tour Series for the second successive Summer in 2012, when the unique, team based cycle race series comes to town on Thursday 7 June.
Britain's top professional cyclists will once again tackle the testing 1.6 kilometre town centre circuit during Round Eight of the 2012 Halfords Tour Series. A whole afternoon of cycling festival activities are again planned for Castle Park to complement the elite race, building on the success of 2011 when Colchester was named the winner of The Halfords Tour Series Pride Awards, by series sponsors Halfords.
Cllr Anne Turrell, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “We are happy to welcome back The Halfords Tour Series to Colchester for the second time. Last year’s exciting race and community events proved very popular, drawing people into the town. An estimated 15,000 people came to Colchester to watch the evening race, and Colchester was showcased on ITV4 with coverage reaching an estimated 400,000 people and the town experiencing a range of benefits from hosting a world-class event.
“It is great in this Olympic year that Colchester will host the cycle race. Based upon last year’s award winning programme of community events a sports festival will again be held in Castle Park before this year’s evening race; free to attend for all ages and abilities. This is a real opportunity for us to celebrate Colchester as a place where people want to live, work and visit.”
The Halfords Tour Series is all about team performance, with Britain's ten leading professional cycling teams battling it out over ten rounds of action packed competition for the right to be crowned champions and the best team in Britain.
Colchester will be the home round for Essex professional cyclist Jason White, of the new Metaltek Scott team, who finished the 2011 season ranked the leading elite male cyclist in Britain.
“I can’t wait to get back to Colchester for The Halfords Tour Series in 2012,” said White on the news. “After crashing out last year when in really good form, I feel I’ve unfinished business in what is my local round when a lot of my family get to see me race. The public come out in droves and the vibe around the circuit is amazing.”
Colchester has twice hosted rounds of Britain's leading televised cycle race series, in 2009 and 2011, while 2010 saw the town welcome The Tour of Britain to its heart for the finish of the penultimate stage. Last year's Halfords Tour Series round saw Rapha Condor Sharp's Dean Downing lead his team to victory, on their way to overall success in the Series.
"Colchester is now closely associated with Britain's biggest cycling events, and we are proud to once again have the opportunity to bring The Halfords Tour Series to the town," said Series Director Mick Bennett.
"Bringing professional cycle racing to Colchester is a pleasure, as we are always sure of a warm welcome and large crowds, making for a very special atmosphere around the circuit."
The identities of the remaining venues making up the 2012 Halfords Tour Series will be revealed over the coming weeks.
Dates confirmed so far...
Round One Tuesday 15th May TBA
Round Two Thursday 17th May TBA
Round Three Tuesday 22nd May TBA
Round Four Thursday 24th May TBA
Round Five Tuesday 29th May TBA
Round Six Thursday 31st May TBA
Round Seven Tuesday 5th June TBA
Round Eight Thursday 7th June Colchester, Essex
Round Nine Tuesday 12th June TBA
Round Ten Thursday 14th June TBA