CROWDS OUT IN FORCE AS TOUR SE­RIES RE­TURNS

Event: Thou­sands bask in sun to watch Tour Se­ries cy­clists

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - FRONT PAGE - BY KIERAN BEAT­TIE

Thou­sands of cy­cling fans lined the sunny streets of the Gran­ite City yes­ter­day to cheer on some of the UK’s top cy­clists for the sec­ond visit from the Tour Se­ries.

The city cen­tre was trans­formed into a race track as hun­dreds of rid­ers, from am­a­teurs and chil­dren to elite pro­fes­sion­als, ped­alled their way through some of Aberdeen’s most iconic streets.

Through­out the day, which was blessed with as much sun­shine as last year’s in­au­gu­ral event, rev­ellers and fam­i­lies en­joyed the jovial at­mos­phere and cheered on their favourite com­peti­tors.

With fun-filled ac­tiv­i­ties in Union Ter­race Gar­dens, drinks and food stalls on Union Street and com­pe­ti­tions for all ages, the sec­ond visit from the OVO En­ergy Tour Se­ries pro­vided some­thing for ev­ery­one.

From noon until just be­fore 5pm, cy­cling fans pounded the bar­ri­ers to sup­port the am­a­teur rid­ers tak­ing part on the chal­lenge, which took place on Union Street, Union Ter­race, Lit­tle Bel­mont Street and else­where.

And from 5.30pm on­wards, the city cen­tre got even busier as crowds gath­ered to watch the pro­fes­sional rac­ers push them­selves to the limit.

Mike Den­ni­son, 52, was one of the many cy­cling fans who parked his bike at the fin­ish­ing line on Union Street for a good view.

Mr Den­ni­son, who has been cy­cling for the

“The city cen­tre of Aberdeen makes for a re­ally im­pres­sive place to race”

last 15 years and is a mem­ber of the Dee­side This­tle Cy­cling Club, said he was glad to see the event re­turn on such a sunny day.

He said: “It’s been an in­cred­i­ble day of cy­cling, it re­ally is spe­cial to have all of this tal­ent in one place.

“I re­ally think the Tour Se­ries is bril­liant for Aberdeen, be­fore this, there was next to noth­ing in the city, but this is now a real high­light of the cy­cling cal­en­dar.

“The city cen­tre of Aberdeen makes for a re­ally im­pres­sive place to race, and it re­ally helps to put Aberdeen on the map for cy­clists.”

Fol­low­ing on from the suc­cess of the 2017 men’s race, this year an elite women’s round was added.

Pro­fes­sional fe­male cy­clists amazed cheer­ing crowds as they tore through the Gran­ite City’s most fa­mous streets.

Mr Den­ni­son added: “There re­ally was a great re­cep­tion to the elite women’s race, but I think the high­light of the day has to be the youth races.

“It must be so ex­cit­ing for these young cy­clists to be cy­cling on the same tracks as their heroes, it re­ally is in­spi­ra­tional and ev­ery­thing that can help to en­cour­age young peo­ple pur­sue their dreams and re­ally get into cy­cling is good news.”

As the sun was be­gin­ning to set , the elite men’s race brought the day-long cel­e­bra­tion of cy­cling to an end in a spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion as pho­tog­ra­phers climbed up what they could for the chance to snap their cy­cling heroes.

Aberdeen was one of 10 stops on this year’s OVO En­ergy Tour Se­ries.

ROUND THE BEND: Com­peti­tors in the elite women’s race veer off Union Street on to Union Ter­race un­der the watch­ful gaze of King Ed­ward VII.

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