Good news for the Premier Calendar as British Cycling announced Halfords is to sponsor the UK?s top road race series.

The high street cycling and motoring retailer will work with BC to provide additional support to race organisers and provide an overall prize fund ? two welcome developments Cycling Weekly has been calling for.

Halfords will also partner BC in working to increase cycling participation at all levels, as well as supporting the enlarged Halfords Bikehut team in 2009. Last season?s highlights for the new squad included Nicole Cooke‘s Olympic gold medal and Rob Hayles‘ national road championship win.

Jonny Clay, British Cycling?s cycle sport and membership director, commented: ?I?m delighted that we have Halfords as an official partner of the Premier Calendar Series. Thanks to Halfords we can improve the support we offer to race organisers ? something which, in turn, will help us to raise the profile of the Premier Calendar Series and cycling in general in the UK.?

The 11-race Premier Calendar series starts this weekend with the Bikeline Two-Day in North Wales where last year?s overall winner Russell Downing begins the defence of his crown.

RELATED LINKS

British race calendar

Halfords Bikehut team profile

Bikeline preview