NORTH-WEST based Herbalife-Leisure Lakes and Hope Factory Racing are the surprise selections for this year’s Halfords Tour Serie, Cycling Weekly can exclusively reveal.

With television coverage once again guaranteed, the battle to be one of the 10 squads who will ride the entire series – which last week was extended to 11 rounds for the first time – has become fiercely competitive.

Herbalife had to settle for riding two rounds as a guest team in 2011, while Hope are new for this year having branched out from the bike manufacturer’s successful off-road squads.

Metaltek-Scott are the other team making their debut in the event, although many of the riders – including individual round winner Tony Gibb – have competed in the series as part of the CyclePremier squad in recent years.

Unsurprisingly, Britain’s six UCI-registered teams will be competing, while organiser SweetSpot is also finalising the guest teams that will get to ride either one, two or three rounds of this year’s series.

Tour Series 2012 teams
CyclePremier-Kovert Racing
TS History: Sixth, 2011 (as CyclePremier-Metaltek)

Endura Racing
TS History: Second, 2011

Herbalife-Leisure Lakes
TS History: N/A (Guest team in 2011 for Stoke-on-Trent and Oldham rounds)

Hope Factory Racing
TS History: N/A

IG-Sigma Sport
TS History: Fourth, 2010 and 2011 (as Sigma Sport-Specialized)

TS History: N/A

TS History: Winners, 2010 (as Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta)

TS History: Fifth, 2010

TS History: Winners, 2011

UK Youth
TS History: Fifth, 2011

Related links

CW predicts Tour Series 2012 schedule

Tour Series 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

  • Mark Jones

    The Tour Series is getting bigger and stronger, which is great but at the same time the Premier Calendar is getting smaller and smaller by the year. The Premier Calendar should be bigger than 6 events, particularly with the success of cycling in the country and not just Cav, Wiggo and Sky but Endura’s success on the continent and other teams looking to emulate their success. British Cycling need to sort this out before we lose top level domestic road racing in this country altogether. Why is the Premier Calendar not being televised anymore? If anything I would have thought it could be televised on ITV4. Perhaps the Tour of Britain ought to introduce a new series of 1-3 day races to replace the Premier Calendar and bring even more sponsorship into our domestic scene as the Tour Series has done? After all we cannot rely on those over at British Cycling who are all talk and no action.