Saturday, 19 May 2012

Halfords The Tour Team Cycle Race – Durham

A little bit off topic for my blog but I thought this event was worth mentioning.

Its not often I go to live sporting events, but as a keen cyclist, the chance to see a very technical and slightly terrifying cycle race in my home town (only five minutes walk from my house!) was too good to miss.

The Tour is a series of team races that take place throughout the UK over May and June. What makes the races so exciting is the fact they take place on short circuits throughout city centres – this means lots of laps, sharp turns and plenty of crashes.

The Durham track in particular takes place over a 1.4 km course with a steep hill leading into an almost-hairpin turn and a further steep climb on a cobbled street.

While not really my usual blog fodder I thought it was worth mentioning the bright colours the competing teams wore. White was a surprisingly common colour - well surprising given how dirty they must get!

My level of cycling is far more recreational so you’ll most likely find me in a dress rather than spandex, but each to their own! For watching the event I chose to wear a red dress (a current favourite of mine) and my blue duffle coat, mainly because it had a hood and I was fairly convinced it would rain again (it didn't however). 

The race itself was incredibly exciting! My family and I managed to station ourselves close to the ‘treacherous corner’ where most of the falls and near misses occurred. Watching the competitors whizz round with such speed was quite exhilarating especially as they were so close to the pavement.

As I said we saw a fair number of crashes and near misses. More than one rider took the corner too quickly and hit the hay bails as they hit the breaks.

It didn’t take long before a clear leader of the race was established, Kristian House took a fairly early lead and just kept going until he had crossed the finish line (however his team were not the overall victors of the race).

The race is only just over an hour long and well worth the time to go and have a look, you can check out the locations of races on TheTour website. Maybe its just the thing to get you into the sporting mood for the Olympics!

Oh, and if you're interested you can watch highlights on ITV player here, you may also spot me around 23 minutes in ;)

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