| Location: Kirkcaldy, Fife
Event: 15 May 2012
Britain’s ten leading professional teams are making their final preparations for one of the most important events of the British cycling calendar, The Halfords Tour Series, which begins in Kirkcaldy, Fife.
Endura Racing head into the first ever Scottish round of the series on home roads as favourites, having completed a clean sweep of the British Cycling Premier Calendar events held so far this season, their latest win coming courtesy of former Team Sky rider Russell Downing in the Lincoln Grand Prix on Sunday.
Heading up the opposition will be defending Halfords Tour Series Champions Rapha Condor Sharp, who will be led in Kirkcaldy by Scottish Commonwealth Games bronze medallist James McCallum.
Guest teams for the series
Pedal Power – Endura – Forme Racing and VanillaBikes.com
Sportscover Altura RT and Velo29 – OTR – Vankru
Team Corley Cycles and Zappi’s Cycling Team
Champion System – Maxgear – Kyklos and Wheelbase MGD RT
Team Wallis – CHH and Wheelbase MGD RT
Team Corley Cycles and Twenty3c Orbea
Sportscover Altura RT and Performance Cycles CMI
Performance Cycles CMI, Primal Europe powered by RuTrainingToday.co.uk and Wilier Live2Ride Colchester Twenty3c Orbea and Primal Europe powered by RuTrainingToday.co.uk
Twenty3c Orbea and Zappi’s Cycling Team
Champion System – Maxgear – Kyklos and Velo29 – OTR – Vankru
Among McCallum’s teammates will be Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy MBE and recently crowned team pursuit world champion Andy Tennant, both of whom are reigning champions in The Halfords Tour Series. A further four UCI Continental teams join Endura Racing and Rapha Condor Sharp to compete in this year’s Series, making it the strongest and most international field to date.
Riders from thirteen different nations will take part in the 2012 Halfords Tour Series, with Australia and Sweden providing the largest contingents from outside Great Britain with seven and four riders respectively, while riders from as far afield as Namibia, New Zealand and Canada will also compete.
With current or former circuit race champions from the USA (Daniel Holloway), Australia (Bernard Sulzberger), Denmark (Michael Berling), and several ex-British National Champions including reigning Champion Graham Briggs, who leads Team Raleigh – GAC.
Although the series is all about the team prize, individual wins count too, with thirteen also being the number of different round winners registered for this year’s Series, chief among them Dean Downing (Rapha Condor Sharp), who has five individual wins to his name over the past three seasons. Chasing him on two wins a piece so far in Tour Series history are Briggs, Clancy, and Endura duo Ian Wilkinson and Ian Bibby, all of whom will be looking to add to their collection and to lead their team to victory in Fife.
Three teams will also be making their Halfords Tour Series debuts in Kirkcaldy, with Metaltek Scott, Team Herbalife Leisure Lakes Bikes and Team Hope Factory racing all making their bow in the series.
The glittering line-up will assemble for the first time in Kirkcaldy for Round One of the Series at 7pm on Tuesday 15 May, with highlights on ITV4 the following evening at 10pm.
In addition to the Series first ever visit to Scotland, there will be first visits to Oxford (Tuesday 22 May), Redditch (Thursday 24 May) and Torquay (Tuesday 5 June) among the eleven round Series, which climaxes in Stoke-on-Trent on Thursday 14June, with highlights of every round on ITV4.
Thirteen guest teams will also be joining in the action during the course of this season, bringing local riders for spectators to get behind at each round and providing some of Britain’s up-and-coming teams and riders the chance to experience the action and profile of The Halfords Tour Series.