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Street cycle race thriller

Reporter: Richard Hooton
Date online: 01 June 2011

Cream of international riders head to Oldham
INTERNATIONAL cyclists will be whizzing around Oldham town centre as a prestigious bike race comes to the borough for the first time.

Thousands of residents are expected to line the streets for a thrilling day of cycling as 50 professional riders compete in the Halfords Tour Series 2011 next Thursday.

But there will inevitably be some disruption with road closures and bus diversions.

Oldham is the only town in the North-West hosting the event with the challenging 1.5 mile circuit route organised around High Street, Henshaw Street, St Mary’s Way and the top of Yorkshire Street.

Organisers will begin setting up on High Street from the early hours but two lanes of St Mary’s Way will remain open throughout for traffic with the other two lanes closed for the event from 1.45pm.

A section of the road currently dug up for gas works as part of Metrolink will be reinstated in time for the race.

Clegg Street bus station will be closed, with attractions and demonstrations held there, and buses diverted along Union Street or the route taken when Yorkshire Street is closed on weekend evenings.

Competitors will have to negotiate cobbles, hill climbs and tight turns as they battle it out in Round 6 of the tour.

Highlights of the event will be broadcast on ITV4 the next day at 8pm and repeated on June 11.

The main race starts at 7pm and finishes at 8.15pm with a podium presentation planned for 8.30pm.

The high-speed route will also host Round Three of the Johnson Health Tech Women’s Grand Prix Series two hours earlier at 5pm.

Oldham Council leader Councillor Jim McMahon said: “I am delighted we are welcoming The Halfords Tour Series 2011 to the streets of Oldham Town Centre and it promises to be a great day of sport, which residents can watch for free.

“This cycling event will provide a fantastic national platform to showcase the borough’s positive attributes in front of a national television audience.

“The Tour’s visit will have a positive impact on town centre businesses and will hopefully inspire residents to take up cycling, which will help improve their health and wellbeing.

“I would also like to thank all the local sponsors who have helped us to make it happen. It is clear evidence of the strong public and private sector partnership in the borough.”

Halfords Marketing Director Gerry Murphy said: “As sponsors of The Tour Series we are committed to bringing both the thrills and spills of professional cycling up close to Oldham as the riders do battle for team glory and the ultimate prize of The Halfords Tour Series Leader’s Jerseys.”

The tour is a unique eight-round cycling race held on the streets of town centres across England with ten top British teams battling it out for the coveted Halfords Tour Series title. The other venues are Durham, Aberystwyth, Peterborough, Colchester, Stoke, Woking and Canary Wharf.

Olympic champion Ed Clancy, Great Britain team pursuit member Andy Tennant and Olympic bronze medalist Steven Burke, all gunning for London 2012, are amongst those taking part.

Teams compete to place their top three riders as high as possible in the finishing positions in order to gain their team maximum points.

There will also be a chance to win a Halfords Tour Jersey signed by competitors. To be in with a chance of winning simply log onto www.visitoldham.com and submit your name and contact details.


Hope the council are going to resurface the roads. They would have been better with Rallycross

Surly there is enough disruption with all the current road closures and diversions due to the preparation for the metro!! I suspect along with Chron13 (above) there may be casualties; the roads in Oldham are appalling and agree totally with comment above...its a joke is it not!! If just one cyclist in the race hits one of the hundreds of huge potholes it will cause mayhem.

Thousands to turn out? On yer bike, the cost of this event could have been better spent elsewhere.

please tell me where cars and buses are going to be diverted to with all the road works and clousers already in place its a drivers nightmare

when i heard that a major cycling event was heading to oldham i had my reservations as to the sutability of our roads to hold such an event.
having seen the course they're going to race i can see why they've chosen such a small route.
half of it is on the town centre pedestrianised area. the best road in the borough!
bit concerned about the st marys way section. its all dug up at the moment and they've only got a week to sort it all out.

Expect the whinge brigade - resurface the roads moan. Wrong after visiting Durham for round one they had cobbles with defects that the riders negociated to give a great showcsae event. Well done Oldham events team bringing this world class pfofessional showcase to the town. Its the only event in the northwest and will be supported by cycling fans and the TV cameras. GOOD SHOW and praise to Oldham Council.

“Thisevent will provide a fantastic national platform to showcase the borough’s positive attributes in ....." And what are those ? How does showing viewers round the town centre make 'em wanna invest here? Beats me ! Just more traffic chaos.

I'm with you Troy2006. People moan that there's nothing to do in Oldham. When you bring something for them they still moan.

City centre cycling is a fantastic event. They televised the Manchester event, which was marvelous. I would say to everybody - get down there and take the kids, it's a fantastic spectacle, and its free.

The only city event that was more amazing was the city centre nordic skiing in Dussledorf, where they laid down a snow track.

TYPICAL! something positive in oldham and all people on here can do is moan! no wonder NOTHING ever changes round here, and why people call oldham a "dead end town". Its the dead end attitude of the people that cause this! Well done to OMBC, Halfords and everybody else who is involved in bringing this event to Oldham, its events like this that can put Oldham back on the map!

I give up on fedup and prodriver - Ive seen some excellent FREE events in Oldham, including the fireworks, reindeers, festival oldham, vintage car displays and street entertainment ALL FREE. Now Oldham gets its chance ahead of all the other towns in NW and you MOAN. The Council webpage has all the information about roads, diversions and whats happening including the childrens races ALL FREE.Business in Oldham are part of the partnership and roadworks will be suspended. SUPPORT IT DONT WHINGE.

oh the councils supporters are out in force!

yes its great to get in and attract events like this.
but the town is a mess! its must be embarrasing for council officials to allow these events to go ahead surrounded with all the chaos.

i worked on various building projects for the commonwealth games. back then the city council made sure everything was ready before the event took place.

now can you honestly say oldhams ready for this event?

come on? lets see how deluded you really are.

@Troy2006. It isn't free, it's costing £25,000 plus whatever the costs of sorting St Maty's Way in time and closing the roads costs.

The benefits are what exactly? Financial and otherwise.

Many years ago there was an Oldham 10k race. Imagine something like that now that would generate huge fincial benefits for businesses and charities if it wer done along the likes of the the GNR and various marathons?

This is just a load of blokes cycling round a very small circuit in the town centre.

The planning and cost/benefit analysis for this race has been worked on for over a year. It's supported by the town centre businesses as well as the council. It WILL be a fantastic and exciting event - it'll bring in business and visitors, show Oldham alongside other attractive towns and locations (Canary Wharf, Colchester, Durham etc.) which are just the company we want to be in. It's a brilliant course with uphill, tight turns, and great viewpoints. Get there early!

oh yes troy! free as in what we've paid for in council tax.

thats the sort of money that should be spent on the area bringing up to scratch.
way before and silly festival where pointless entertainer with no actual reason frollock about at our expence.

and as for sapere's comment! do you really want to compare oldham against canary wharf, colchester and durham?

oh dear! we really are doomed!

Fedupoldhamer – your cynical venom is an insult towards Oldham council staff that go the extra mile to provide statutory services along with revitalising, entertaining and new value for money events for Oldham citizens. You actually should move if you’re fed up. Last week’s editorial asked you to calm your negative views – please read the terms of this webpage because you are offensive.

troy, i am an oldhamer born and bread. i have spent my life growing up here and watched as administration after administration in oldham council have eroded away at the structure and fabric of what was once an industrial and cultural northern town.
the cynical venom you say i spout is targeted at those who have done this and reduced my home town to nothing more than a ghost town.
i want whats best for my town and its residents. and at the moment i am just not seeing it. hence being fed up.

roll on the halfords bike tour i can't wait

it will bring more cyclists to oldham reduce the cars on the road and save oldham millions meaning they can stop cutting back

am i missing something here?

the bike race is this thursday? a week day? when most people will be at work. the kids will be at school.
unless you book the day off or skive.

who's going to watch this event live?

if it was a real event for the people of oldham to enjoy it would have been held on a saturday or sunday like the bike events i used to compete in. not a thursday!

Yes. You are missing something.

The Halfords Race Series is a series. It'll have to have been June 9th to fit in with the schedule of the other races. It's in the early evening, so you can go after work and kids can go straight to it after school. During the afternoon there are school races and club races - these are already over-subscribed according to other forums online - there's massive interest in the race across the NW. I hope Oldham's ready for the invasion - this is going to be huge.


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