Does Stoke-On-Trent Smell Of Joop!??

That's the question I was asking myself on Tuesday night. It seemed as though I couldn't get away from it, as soon as I stepped out of the car I could smell it and I was surrounded all night long. I had noticed it a couple of weeks earlier when Nay was djing in Hanley and thought nothing of it but I was back again in Stoke-On-Trent surrounded by a scent haze of Joop!

By the end of the evening I came to the conclusion that there must only be one perfume sold in Stoke-On-Trent and that everyone must shower, wash clothes and drink Joop! as it was so overwhelmingly wierd. If anyone else has had similar Joop! experiences in Stoke-On-Trent it would be good to hear from you. I'm more a Coolwater man myself.

Anyway I was in Stoke-On-Trent for round 7 of the Tour Series, which has had a fantastic response with twice weekly, hourly footage from ITV 4. The Tour Series is pretty straight forward, several teams of professional cycling riders battle it out for an hour and 5 laps of racing around a city centre circuit. There are several prizes to be won, obviously the guy who comes first at the end, a sprinters competition (as every 15 minutes there is a sprint, the person who finishes in the most top positions throughout the 3 sprints wins) and interestingly a team prize.

For those not familiar with cycling, cycling teams will surround themselves around one man in their team to protect him, help him up climbs and get him to the front to win the sprint at the end. The reason being, that in a group of riders, those in middle/back use 40% less energy than the man at the front, so the team works hard to keep the main rider fresh.

The difference with the Tour Series is that the races surround teams working together. The riders need to not only win the individual sprints but also get as many of the team across the line together at the end. The more riders from a team in the highest places, gain more points.

Halfords Bikehut are especially good at this, with all but 1 finishing in a bunch at the end and so they should with Olympic riders Rob Hayles and Ed Clancy in the team. The racing was excellent, with the riders passing every minute so you got to see a lot of the moves. Credit goes to Chris Newton and Kristian House of Rapha Condor really making everyone work hard, the power and effort was incredible. The eventual winner was on form Russell Downing of CandiTV Marshalls Pasta.

The Tour Series works it's way round to Chester next Tuesday and I'll be at the front banging the boards once again. It was great to see such a huge turnout of all ages cheering the riders on. It is exactly what cycling needs and just shows you don't have to be cycling guru to join in the fun!

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