Bike racing

Bike racing on the Prom.

Bike racing on the Prom.

25 May 2011

Thursday, 26th May, sees the action and excitement of professional cycle racing arrive in Aberystwyth in a free-to-attend event at the heart of the town, featuring World and Olympic stars.

The ITV4 Halfords Tour Series has been organised by the Aberystwyth Cycling Partnership, which is made up of the University, Aberystwyth Town Council, Ystwyth Cycling Club, Ceredigion County Council, and Tourism Partnership Mid Wales.

Lining up alongside Olympians Ed Clancy, Andrew Tennant, Rob Hayles and Steven Burke will be Penrhyncoch’s very own Gruff Lewis, who was crowned Welsh Road Racing Champion on Sunday  and who rides for the new professional outfit Team UK Youth, which is headed by former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backsteadt.

As well as racing as a semi-professional, Gruff works at the University Sports Centre as a part time recreation assistant and gym and spin instructor.

The day’s programme commences at 12p.m. with activities on the promenade, racing starts at 2p.m. with schools, business and youth races, and culminates with the Halfords Tour Series, which starts at 7 in the evening and runs for 1 hour + 5 laps.

The riders will race along a one-kilometre closed circuit that will take them along the promenade past the Old College and the castle, up through the old town towards the Town Clock and down Pier Street. The Old College will be the venue for the event’s corporate hospitality.

As part of the event the promenade will be transformed to recreate the spirit of the Tour de France that is famed for its publicity caravan, which precedes the cycle racing. Stalls and exhibitors will ensure a festival atmosphere, including the True Taste Kitchen who will offer sample produce from local Welsh companies as will Hybu Cig Cymru, who promote Welsh Lamb & Beef.

Now in its third year, The Halfords Tour Series is a team based competitionconsisting of the ten premier UK professional racing teams who score points by finishing as many of their five riders in the top ten at each round as possible. Other host venues include Durham, Peterborough, Stoke-on-Trent and Canary Wharf.

The event will feature on ITV4 on Friday 27 May at 8 p.m.