BLOOD, sweat and gears dominated the town centre on Tuesday as Woking gave a big welcome to the latest installment of the ever-popular Tour Series.
Pro riders in the men’s Pearl Izumi Tour Series and the women’s Matrix Fitness Grand Prix Series, which were preceded by the well-attended Celebrate Woking-hosted Community Races, helped quench residents’ thirst for cycling action for another summer.
Half a dozen editions of the nationwide 10-leg Tour have now whistled through Woking’s streets, and the locals’ love of life in the saddle shows no sign of slowing.
“The Community Races are a great way for children to experience cycling in a professional setting,” explained fan Eddie Jones, 36.
“My son was able to get out there and have a ride around town in a way that he doesn’t normally get to.
“For someone who loves the sport and wants to be the best, this was a taste of what life on the track is like at the very top.”
The races put youngsters from local riding clubs and teams, and those just looking for a bit of fun, in the fast lane.
Cheered on by the ever-growing crowd, which eventually grew into the thousands, they whipped up quite an atmosphere prior to the main event.
John-Paul Jackson, Centre Manager of Woking Shopping, who are one of the Community Races’ principal sponsors, said: “We are extremely proud to be associated with Celebrate Woking’s programme of events, and welcoming thousands of spectators to Woking for the Pearl Izumi Tour Series.”
Come 5.30pm the women were prep-aring themselves at the start line, with Eileen Roe eventually topping the podium.
And then came the thrilling headline race, with dozens of riders from nine teams slogging it out for supremacy in glorious summer sun.
Tom Stewart was the man to cross the line first, following in the tracks of 2013 champ Ed Clancy.