KIRKCALDY is set to welcome some of the best cyclists in Britain in May after being named one of the 10 venues for the 2012 Halfords Tour Series.
The unique, team-based, televised cycle race series, which attracts thousands of spectators, will make its first ever visit to Scotland on Tuesday, May 15.
Ten of the top British teams will begin their five week battle to be crowned champions around a special circuit of the town centre, with a full day of supporting cycling activities to entertain the estimated 10,000 people who will come to Kirkcaldy for the event.
Winning the right to host the first leg of the prestigious series is a major coup for Fife Council and it aims to use the event to show Kirkcaldy town centre in a positive light.
Councillor Alice Soper, chairman of Kirkcaldy area committee, said: “The Council is delighted that the Halfords Tour Series if coming to Fife. We have provided significant funding through our strategic events investment programme to enable the event to be hosted in Kirkcaldy.
“We are confident this thrilling spectacle will attract a large number of people to the town. It puts Fife into the national spotlight and emphasises the region as a great place to live, work, visit and invest.”
Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy 4All, said the cycling series would be a real boost for the town centre.
“As a major sponsor, this event supports our work in developing Kirkcaldy town centre as a place where people want to work, shop and spend their leisure time.
“An event of this significance complements our vision to create vibrant and positive town centres with safe, pleasant civic spaces which are welcoming and investment friendly.”
EventScotland, the national events agency for Scotland, has provided additional funding to support the Kirkcaldy round of the series, and Paul Bush, chief operating officer, said cycling fans across the country were in for a treat.
“We are delighted to be supporting this event in Kirkcaldy, as part of our ongoing commitment to cycling,” he said. “Hosting the opening event of the series is fantastic for the town and it will certainly help to increase its profile and visibility through television coverage.
“Scotland is the perfect stage for cycling events and the Halfords Tour Series will delight spectators, with the Scottish riders in particular guaranteed to draw a crowd.”
The final touches are still being put to the actual route for the main race, which will get under way around 7.00 p.m. on the night, but it is expected it will start and finish on the esplanade and provide a real challenge for the riders.