HEADS and wheels were spinning as five lycra-clad professional cyclists took to the streets of Chester city centre.
The men are preparing to compete in the second annual Chester leg of the Halfords Tour Series for the city’s adopted team, the Kuota – Road CC team.
It is hoped crowds of more than 10,000 will line the 1.3km route on June 21 when, for an hour, the cyclists will tear up the streets of Chester city centre, completing the course around 45 times and racing against nine other teams.
Council leader Mike Jones and Cllr Richard Short, executive member for culture and recreation, welcomed the team to the city on Tuesday.
Led by team manager Eddie White and team director Cherie Pridham, both professional cyclists themselves, Team Kuota – Road CC descended on Chester to give Cestrians a taste of what they can expect when the teams fly through the streets on June 21.
Cherie Pridham said: “We are excited about coming to race the ninth leg of the Tour Series in Chester. The fantastic historical setting with cobble streets and a tight course make for thrilling racing.”
Jon Mozley, 22, from Derby is a past winner of the under-23 National Criterium series and finished a strong eighth in last year’s inaugural event in Chester.
Unlike the thousands of spectators, he will be praying for rain.
He said: “For me, I really enjoyed it. It made it even better when it was wet. It stops the powerhouses because they’re used to going in a straight line.
“It’ll be a lot more popular this year.
“It helped Chester being one of the later ones because more and more people recognised the tour series.”
Jon was joined on Tuesday by Dan Davies, from Wolverhampton, Matt Bailey, from Birmingham, former speedskater Jefte de Bruin, from Holland and fellow countryman Jeroen ‘JJ’ Janssen.
The remainder of the seven-strong team, Liverpudlian David McGowan, a Merseyside Champion on the Bole Hill circuit, and Andy Tinsdley, from Burscough were unable to make it
JJ, nicknamed The Flying Dutchman, finished a respectable fourth in last year’s Chester event.
“I really enjoyed it. it’s a really good course. The water suited me as well. It went really well.”
“It’s more about your style of racing and avoiding the wet lines while your braking.
“There were quite a lot of crashes last year.
“You’ve only got two wheels and no frame around you so potholes can have much more serious consequences than if you are in a car!”
The race begins at 7.30pm on June 21 at Town Hall Square and closes at 9pm.
The racing will be televised on ITV4 at 7pm on June 22.