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Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 14:22 UK
Tour Series cycle race returns to Hanley City Centre
Russell Downing
Russell Downing of the Stone-based Pinirello team won last year's race

Some of the world's best cyclists will battle it out on the streets of Stoke-on-Trent City Centre when the Tour Series returns.

Thousands of people are expected to line the route in Hanley on Thursday, 17 June to cheer the riders on.

Russell Downing was last year's winner, riding for Stone-based team, Pinarello.

The team return this year with a new name, Motorpoint Marshall's Pasta, and a new crew including Olympic medallists Ed Clancy and Steven Burke.

Ten teams of five professional cyclists will be racing shoulder to shoulder on the tight city centre circuit, at speeds reaching 40mph.

The Stoke-on-Trent event is one of 10 city centre cycle challenges which make up the Halfords Tour Series.

Road closures and disruption

It will see cyclists sprinting along town road past the Stanley Matthews statue, before racing around the back of the Potteries shopping centre on Quadrant Road, before coming down the hill and along Stafford Street.

They'll then make their way up Cheapside, to cross the finish line right outside the the Town Hall, opposite BBC Radio Stoke's headquarters.

The race starts at 7pm.

Stoke-on-Trent is also the only city to have a professional women's race, which takes place before the men's event.

The City Council says the race itself and the day-long build up to it will mean that there will be disruption to local businesses and people.

Many roads around the city centre will be closed and although public transport will be operating fully, some journeys will take slightly longer due to re-routing of buses to the bus station.

Ones to watch

Ed Clancy
Ed Clancy won Olympic gold for Team GB in the team pursuit in Beijing

Last year's race was won by Russell Downing for the Stone-based Pinarello-Candi TV team , who finished second overall in the Tour Series last season.

He's no longer with the squad, after signing for Team Sky earlier this year to help them with their challenge of eventually winning the Tour de France.

In his place, the team, which is now called Motorpoint Marshall's Pasta , snapped up a number of rising British stars.

Olympic gold medallists Ed Clancy and Steven Burke will add their skills to the experience of Keith Lambert - who won the title with Halfords last year - and former Tour De France and Milk Race rider Malcolm Elliott, who's still going strong at the age of 49.

Rider for the Cycle Premier team, Andrew Magnier, will also be looking forward to the Hanley round because he comes from nearby Cheddleton.




SEE ALSO
Tour of Britain comes to Staffs
10 Sep 10 |  Things to do
Downing wins in Stoke Tour Series
17 Jun 09 |  Cycling

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