City welcome as cycling series begins

One of the riders, with a minder, in Wednesday's Halfords Childrens Cycle Relay race, pictured in Margery Lane, Durham.
One of the riders, with a minder, in Wednesday's Halfords Childrens Cycle Relay race, pictured in Margery Lane, Durham.
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A CELEBRATION of cycling took to the streets last night as a national challenge pedalled into action.

The Halfords Tour Series started in Durham for the second year running, launching the race from Durham School and heading out into the city to take on its cobbled streets, hills and tight turns.

Ahead of the main event, teams of schoolchildren from Years 5 and 6 completed on the course, with visitors welcomed to a cycle-themed tour village in Millennium Place in the lead up to the launch.

The men’s race route took competitors – including Britain’s top 10 cyclists and others from Canada, New Zealand and Australia – along Margery Lane, Crossgate Bank, South Street and Grove Street and back to the school.

It was won by Zak Dempster, a member of the Rapha Condor Sharp team, which will now pull on orange jerseys as leaders.

They beat Endura Racing by a single point to take the top spot.

The first leg of the race, which now travels on to seven other locations around England and Wales, will be broadcast today on ITV4 at 8pm and repeated tomorrow at 11am.