Top cyclists will go wheel to wheel on the cobbled streets of Durham as The Tour Series returns to the North East in 2017 with the highly popular event in the city taking place on a Saturday night for the first time ever. The historic city will play host to the penultimate round of the revamped competition, with the race for the first time being held on a Saturday night, May 27.

Cllr Maria Plews, cabinet member for leisure, libraries and lifelong learning at Durham County Council, which hosts the race in partnership with race organiser Sweetspot, said: “The Tour Series cycling is a fantastic event that in previous years has brought thousands of people out onto the city’s streets, contributed hundreds of thousands of pounds to the county’s economy and helped raise our profile regionally, nationally and internationally.

“With the race this year moving to a Saturday night I hope to see many more families taking the opportunity to discover how the hard cobbled climbs, narrow streets and tight corners of our medieval surroundings make for some superb sporting action. 

“And I hope by welcoming some of the top riders in Britain to compete on what has traditionally been one of the Tour’s toughest courses it will also help to inspire more people in County Durham to saddle up and improve their own health and wellbeing.”

Now in its ninth season, The Tour Series – which is organised by the team behind the Tour of Britain – is a unique team-based, televised series of city centre cycle races.

Riders from seven professional men’s teams – Bike Channel Canyon, JLT Condor, Madison Genesis, Metaltek Kuota, Morvélo Basso, ONE Pro Cycling and Team Raleigh GAC – will battle it out over the course of ten rounds, with Durham welcoming the second to last race, just two days before the end of the season.

Last year thousands of spectators lined the route, which takes in Cross Street, South Street, Grove Street and Margery Lane, to see riders reach speeds of up to 50kph. 

The 2016 race was won by JLT Condor’s Welsh cyclist Jon Mould, with young North East rider Harry Tanfield finishing second.

Race director Mick Bennett, of organisers SweetSpot, said; “This year the line-up of men’s teams is incredibly strong, with no clear favourite among them for the Tour Series title.

“Fans can look forward to some amazing racing from these top-class athletes, as The Tour Series continues to provide an unparalleled platform of action, entertainment and engagement.”

You can relive the action from the 2016 Durham Tour Series round by watching the video below from our YouTube Channel.