THE thrills and spills of competitive cycling return to the streets of Durham City as it hosts the cycle Tour Series.
This year’s race, sponsored by Pearl Izumi, has been arranged by Durham County Council in partnership with Visit County Durham and organising company, Sweetspot. The event starts at 7pm on Thursday.
Ten teams of five professional cyclists will take on each other and the challenges of the Durham circuit, in their bid to become the top British cycling team and champions of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series.
Council leader Simon Henig said: “It is fantastic to have a local team competing at such a high level, helping to put cycling in the region and Durham on the national and international stage.
“The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is now an established and highly regarded professional cycling event and we wish all competitors the very best of luck.”
Over the course of an hour, teams will battle to place their top three riders as high as possible in the finishing positions, to gain their team maximum points.
The Durham circuit is one of the most demanding with the cobbled climb, narrow streets and right angle corners.
It has been previously been described as “purgatory” by the cyclists taking part.
The route will start and finish at Durham School and will take cyclists along Margery Lane, Crossgate Bank, South Street and Grove Street.
The crowd is estimated to be bigger this year with thousands of spectators expected.
The Belmont Park Ride will stay open until 10pm on the night of the race. Return journeys are £2 per person.
Parking will be available at County Hall from 5pm, about 15 minutes’ walk from the course.