Thousands of cycling fans will line the streets of Smithfield Market this Saturday (19 June) for the HTC Smithfield Nocturne. This popular and long established event offers hair-raising elite circuit racing around a tight 1.1km course in central London.
This year, organisers have brought in new events for the afternoon, making it a family-friendly all-day affair. From 3pm to 4.30pm the Nocturne course will be opened to the public, thanks to the London Festival of Architecture Sky Rides, giving people the chance to ride safely on closed roads.
Other events will include Rollapaluza roller racing, the Red Bull Stand Off trackstanding competition, a Le Mans-style folding bike race, the Support Race for amateurs, a special race for architects and developers, and the Longest Fixie Skid competition, which was a huge crowd-pleaser last year, probably due to the number of blunders involved. There’ll also be led rides and bike parking,
The highlight of the day’s entertainment will no doubt be the Elite Criterium, which will be headed by Team HTC-Columbia’s Matt Goss. It’ll also feature Rapha Condor Sharp’s Chris Newton, Kristian House, Darren Lapthorne, Zak Dempster, Dan Craven and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke in a bid for glory in front of their home crowd.
Their main competition is likely to be Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta, who are currently putting in a strong performance on the UK criterium scene. The team will race at Smithfield with Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy joined by Malcolm Elliott, Steven Burke, Andy Tennant and Ian Bibby.
Other notable contenders include Endura Racing’s Rob Hayles, Ian Wilkinson and criterium specialist Jack Bauer, Sigma Sport’s Simon Richardson and Wouter Sybrandy, and Yanto Barker from Pendragon – Le Col – Colnago.
The event will be filmed, with all the action relayed onto a big screen in the main spectator area. Next to the screen will be the HTC trailer where spectators can use pedal power to charge their mobile phones. The afternoon of cycling kicks off at 3pm, and races start at 5.30pm, with the Elite Criterium at 9pm. The event is free for spectators. For more details, visit www.smithfieldnocturne.com.