Olympic gold medal cyclist fears Durham’s cobbled streets

The Rapha Condor Sharp cycle team, last year's winners of the Durham stage of the Halfords Tour Series.'Left to right; Dean Downing, Kristian House, Ed Clancy, James McCallum and Ben Grenda.
The Rapha Condor Sharp cycle team, last year's winners of the Durham stage of the Halfords Tour Series.'Left to right; Dean Downing, Kristian House, Ed Clancy, James McCallum and Ben Grenda.
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AN OLYMPIC champion cyclist will take to the streets of Durham City today – but he won’t enjoy it.

Team pursuit gold medallist Ed Clancy is one of the Rapha Condor Sharp team taking part in the Durham round of the Halfords Tour series of road circuit races.

“Durham is my least favourite circuit,” said Ed, 27.

“It has steep hills and I don’t climb well, so it will be more about me trying to do my bit for the team.

“Circuits such as Durham are good for spectators, with an ordinary road race you usually only see the bikes go past once, but here we go round and round.”

The Durham circuit is part-cobbled, which adds another dimension for the riders.

“Cobbles are not so bad going up a hill,” said Ed. “But they can be difficult coming down with a bend at the bottom.

“And if it rains on them, it will be a real demolition derby.

“No rider likes the thought of crashing, but the occasional fall is part of bike racing, you just get on with it.”

The race in Durham City starts at 7pm and is due to last for about an hour.

Riders are expected to arrive at the 1.4km circuit for practice runs from about 6pm.

A dozen teams of five or six riders will race around Margery Lane, South Street and Crossgate,

Highlights of the race will be broadcast on ITV4 at 8pm on Friday, and at 9am on Saturday.

There is another nine rounds of the tour, which finishes in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, on June 14.

Ed Clancy will be defending his title at the London Olympics, and taking part in the new Omnium multiple race event for cyclists.