Race Programme: Halfords Tour Series, Aberystwyth

Race Programme: Halfords Tour Series, Aberystwyth

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“Croeso cynnes” – a warm welcome to Aberystwyth, widely regarded as ‘the cultural capital of Wales’.  As well as the world class University, this lively town is home to the National Library, the Arts Centre, the Welsh National Books Council and several cultural centres.  Nestling between three hills, the town is spectacularly located on the broad sweep of the Welsh coast.  The rugged slopes of Constitution Hill have a zigzag path that climbs the 420 feet to the summit from where you have the choice to either recuperate in a small café, or visit the Camera Obscura for fine views of Cardigan Bay.

The promenade, one of the most striking attributes of Aberystwyth, bravely faces seaward in a colourful curved terrace of three and four storey Victorian hotels and guesthouses.  The town has an eclectic mix of architectural styles – from the high Victorian Gothic of the iconic Old College building on the promenade, to the award winning modernistic buildings on the University’s Penglais campus.

Aberystwyth is not your typical seaside resort.  The town has a unique character, a special year round vibrancy that you will not find elsewhere.  It has a range of cultural, sporting and social facilities that are the envy of larger cities.  Aberystwyth is also a very young town with a legendary nightlife based around the University and the town centre.  It is this mix of superb facilities, an unrivalled environment and a strong community of people, that account for the fact that Aberystwyth was recently declared to be the best place in the world to be a student, and that the University enjoys the highest levels of student satisfaction in the country.

Cycling is an essential part of the Aberystwyth experience, and we welcome the return of The Halfords Tour Series, now as part of the Aberystwyth Cycle Festival. For Mountain Bike enthusiasts there are a number of trails in the Nant yr Arian Forest located between the lower Rheidol valley and the Nant y Moch reservoir. The rugged tracks are carved into the steep valleys and ridges of the forest to create challenging routes for even the more experienced cyclist.  The local club, Clwb Beicio Ystwyth Cycling Club, extend this experience.  Over 30 riders take part in the weekly time trial league and two road race events are notable features of the British Cycling calendar.  Ystwyth CC hosted a highly successful Aberystwyth criterium in 2010, which brought cycling back to the town centre and its promenade that was a regular and spectacular feature of the Milk Race. 

You can find details of this year's Aberystwyth Seafront Criteriums here, along with details on how to enter.

The 2011 Halfords Tour Series was highly successful, despite the weather, and 2012 is set to be a spectacular event, so make sure you join us on Friday 25th May for a whole weekend of activities, culminating in the visit of the Olympic Torch Relay on Sunday 27th May.

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Aberystwyth today launched round five of the 2012 Halfords Tour Series which will take place on Friday 25th May, as ten of Britain’s top professional cycling teams arrive in the Welsh seaside town for the second year in succession, thanks to a unique financial collaboration between the Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth Town Council, Welsh Government and the UK’s largest bicycle & motorcycle tyre distributors, Cambrian Tyres who are based in the town.

Aberystwyth University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Martin Jones summed up the attitude of the partnership; “As a world class educational establishment, we’re right on board in drawing major events to the town, showing the British public that Aberystwyth is a serious venue for both students and tourists. The town has a unique character, a special year round vibrancy that you will not find elsewhere.  It has a range of cultural, sporting and social facilities that are the envy of larger cities and now we’re working with the other stakeholders to establish this event as an annual showpiece for both Ceredigion and Wales as a whole. The 2011 event attracted many visitors from outside of Wales, which is fantastic and we are looking forward to seeing them all again on the 25th May”

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 15th May and Aberystwyth providing the Welsh representation just over a week later, making history as the first Halfords Tour Series event to be
held on a Friday night, with highlights of the action being screened on ITV4 on Monday 28th May.

Team Wallis – CHH rider Daniel Davies, a resident of Aberystwyth is keen to impress:

“This will be Team Wallis’s first foray in the Halfords Tour Series and to be riding in front of a home crowd will give me and the team the incentive to give a good account of ourselves. The team has big plans for the future with the focus always on developing younger riders, so what better way for our guys to get themselves on the main stage in terms of British professional road cycling.

Aberystwyth Mayor Cllr Richard Boudier added “We’re really pleased to welcome to race back to the town this year. Whilst we weren’t graced with the best of weather last year, everyone certainly remembers the day so we’re expecting thousands more people to come this time around and enjoy not only the professional race, but the numerous support events that are taking place too. Cyclists of all abilities can get involved throughout the day and indeed on the Saturday as part of the Aberystwyth Cycle Festival.

We’re also hosting the Olympic torch on the Sunday evening with a big concert planned in the town and so the spotlight will certainly be on Aberystwyth for the entire weekend!”  

2012 Halfords Tour Series Calendar

Round One                   Tuesday 15th May          Kirkcaldy, Fife

Round Two                   Thursday 17th May         Durham 

Round Three                 Tuesday 22nd May          Oxford

Round Four                   Thursday 24th May         Redditch, Worcestershire

Round Five                   Friday 25th May              Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

Round Six                     Tuesday 29th May          Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Round Seven                Thursday 31st May         Canary Wharf, London

Round Eight                  Tuesday 5th June           Torquay, Devon

Round Nine                   Thursday 7th June          Colchester, Essex

Round Ten                    Tuesday 12th June          Woking, Surrey

Grand Final                   Thursday 14th June         Stoke on Trent, Staffs