An elite women's criterium has been added to the popular Smithfield Nocturne on June 6, attracting some of the UK’s top female cyclists.
The event already catered for top male Tour de France riders and Olympians, as well as UK Elites. Garmin-Slipstream's David Millar is scheduled to race again this year.
"Women’s cycle-racing has really exploded in London in the last few years," said Charlotte Easton, a keen racing cyclist who competed as part of a FACE team last year. "More and more of us are getting into the sport, encouraged to participate in sportives, on the track, road racing and more recently through events like Rollapaluza.
“Three years ago, there might have been ten of us riding round on a Wednesday night," she added. "Now events fill up quickly and the level of competition has really improved.”
An already packed race programme meant that a women’s race would be difficult to include in the schedule, but after increasing interest from female cyclists on the event’s Facebook page, the Nocturne Series included the race in recognition of the growing popularity of women’s road racing.
The City of London will partner with the 2009 Smithfield Nocturne. According to organisers, London will always remain the home of the Nocturne and organisers FACE have developed the exciting partnership with the City of London to take the event forward in 2009.
"The original Nocturne concept was developed with Rapha Condor as a celebration of London cycling in all its forms," Event Director James Pope said. "The partnership with the City of London strengthens the London connection. It is a massive boost to the Smithfield Nocturne and will help us achieve our aim of making the Nocturne one of the highlights of London's sporting calendar in the run up to 2012."
The Women’s Criterium starts at 19:40 and is open to Senior and Junior E/1/2/3 category riders and the entry fee is a discounted amount of £20. Entries will close on Monday 25th May.
For more information, visit www.smithfieldnocturne.com.