A MAJOR cycle event is coming to Oxford next month and will shut off main streets for the day.

The Halfords Tour Series features the country’s top teams and will star Olympic gold medallists and World Champion riders.

Round three of 11 will be held in the city for the first time on Tuesday, May 22.

The free-to-watch team racing event will shut St Giles, Magdalen Street East and Magdalen Street West, and parts of Beaumont Street and Pusey Street, for the whole day. Diversions will be in place.

Cyclists will race on a 1km oval circuit around St Giles and are likely to reach speeds of 40mph.

Oxonian Cycle Club spokesman Dennis McSweeney said: “It is a great opportunity for people to see some top teams and it is a good opportunity for people who would not normally see top teams and races to get close to it.

“The speed is very impressive. It’s a fantastic thing to watch, so to get it on your own doorstep will be great.

“We are very excited about it.”

There will also be an Oxford V Cambridge university race and a race for women riders before the main event at 7pm.

Cycling groups will also host stalls and put on activities for youngsters.

Event spokesman Peter Hodges said: “It’s not just about having a race, it’s about showing people that cycling is fun and exciting.

“The more people, the better the atmosphere around the event, so we’re really encouraging everyone to kickstart a summer of cycling by bringing a friend along.”

Olympic gold medalist Ed Clancy and World Champion Andy Tennant will be among those taking part.

Jon Harris, manager of Summertown Cycles, said: “It seems like an exciting thing.

“I would say it was quite unusual to have top cyclists come to Oxford.”