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Cyclists gear up for tough Durham race

The thrills and spills of competitive cycling will once again return to the streets of Durham city when The Halfords Tour Series arrives in town this Summer.

The televised race, featuring ten teams of professional cyclists will come to Durham on the evening of Thursday 17th May, with highlights screened the following evening on ITV4.

And to mark the launch of the event two teams – Endura Racing and Velo29 – have visited Durham and enjoyed an early glimpse of the tough course they will face.

The Durham leg of the race, which takes in steep hills, tight turns and cobbled streets, has been described in previous years as ‘purgatory’ by the cyclists taking part.

During The Halfords Tour Series the cyclists will take on eleven town and city centre courses, including Durham, and people are invited to come along and see the race as it passes through the city’s streets.

Cllr Maria Plews, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Libraries and Lifelong Learning at Durham County Council, said: “This is the third time Durham will have hosted The Halfords Tour Series and it is growing in popularity every year. We are expecting that an estimated 9,000 people will come along to watch the race this year to experience the excitement and atmosphere of the event. But cycling isn’t just for the professionals and in the lead up to the Halfords event this year the council will be promoting the wide range of cycling activities for everyone in County Durham, such as bicycle hire schemes to mountain biking in Hamsterley Forest.”

The race will take place on Thursday, May 17 at 7pm. The route will start and finish at Durham School and will take cyclists along Margery Lane, Crossgate Bank, South Street and Grove Street.

The 2012 Halfords Tour Series begins with its first ever visit to Scotland, as Kirkcaldy in Fife hosts Round One.  The Series will visit venues in England, Scotland and Wales over the course of five intense weeks of competition.

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