London’s commuters are being invited to test their mettle in the folding bike race at this year’s Smithfield Nocturne, which takes place on 7 June.
The inaugural race on 23 June 2007 was a popular one, with 40 suited competitors racing around Smithfield Market in central London. But before they could ride, they had to run to their bikes and assemble them, in a Le Mans-style start. They then had to complete five laps – in a downpour – with Richard Bailey eventually winning the race and a Dahon Speed TT as his prize.
This year’s folding bike race will be bigger, thanks to sponsorship from Halfords Cycle2Work. The event will feature qualification heats leading to a grand final, giving more commuters a chance to take part in it.
Besides this commuter challenge, the Smithfield Nocturne will have a full programme including an Elite Criterium, which is part of the British Cycling National Circuit Series, a Corporate Challenge, a Celebrity Race and an Inter Schools Youth Challenge.