Rapha Condor JLT lead The Pearl Izumi Tour Series into its third week of competition this week, as the unique team based cycle race Series heads to Durham on Tuesday night (27 May), for what is widely considered the toughest circuit on the calendar.

Round Five in Durham will mark the fifth year that the North East venue has hosted The Pearl Izumi Tour Series, but the first time that the race has taken place during half-term week.

The professional race gets underway at 7pm, with riders warming-up on the circuit from just after 6pm, using the same 1.4-kilometre circuit made popular with spectators in previous editions, starting and finishing adjacent to Durham School and including the ancient cobbled climb of South Street.

You can find a circuit map from Ordnance Survey here.

The Rapha Condor JLT team come into the Durham event in a rich vein of form, having taken three team wins from five so far in 2014 to lead the Series, plus individual wins for Graham Briggs and Felix English.

The men in black will be looking forward to the Durham round, having won three of the four events held to date, twice thanks to Kristian House, who will lead the team in Durham.

Above – In 2013 Team Raleigh won the team prize in Durham, their most recent victory in The Pearl Izumi Tour Series

The only non-Rapha Condor JLT individual winner was Malcolm Elliott in 2009, and he will again be at the helm of a Node4 Velosure team buoyed by the return of riders from the AN Post Ras in Ireland.

Second overall are Madison Genesis, who will be looking to Durham to reel in Rapha Condor JLT’s five point lead in Durham and will welcome back Ian Bibby, who finished fourth overall in the AN Post Ras at the weekend, as well as boasting last year’s Durham runner-up behind House, Tobyn Horton.

In a new addition to previous years in Durham is a Great Britain national squad, who have joined the Series’ nine team line up, to great success having taken the individual win in Round Three at Peterborough thanks to Matthew Gibson (pictured below) and currently lying sixth in the standings.

Three guest teams will also be taking on the challenge of the Durham circuit, including local North East team Achieve Skinnergate Racing, owned by Stockton-on-Tees based Jack Rees and with several riders from the region, such as Sedgefield’s Ben Hetherington and Bishop Auckland’s Craig Anderson.

Joining them will be Haribo Beacon, with former Tour of Britain Yodel Sprints Jersey winner Peter Williams, and Cumbrian based Wheelbase Altura MGD, who have already raced in the Barrow event earlier this month.

Highlights of the Durham race will be shown on ITV4 at 9pm on Wednesday 28th May, with a repeat at 6.55am the following morning.

Below – Mike Northey and Kristian House lead the way in Durham 12-months ago