By Ellie Parsons
Six World Olympic Champions, Elite riders and Past Masters will descend on Newport town centre on Saturday September 10th 2005 for the Nocturne, a night time race around local streets.
It has been announced that Chris Hoy will no longer be taking part but Roger Hammond will be taking his place. In addition current Olympic medallists Jason Queally, Rob Hayles, Chris Newton, Paul Manning and World Junior Pursuit Champion Andy Tennant will be competing in the Inter County Couriers Olympic Challenge.
“The Olympic Challenge is a one lap time trial and these riders don’t normally ride on the roads so we were quite surprised when they said yes. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top. Also this year instead of the usual cars we are having Ferraris,” said Nick Jeggo, Promoter of the Newport Nocturne.
The Nocturne begins at 6.30pm with the Past Masters, which is a race for ex-professional riders. Next the Olympic riders will be presented to the crowd before they compete on a 1.2 mile circuit over cobbles.
The last race of the evening is the Elite race, lasting one hour and five laps. Locals are pinning their hopes on local boy Ian Holt to win. “He’s so nervous before the start. To him winning in Newport is like winning the World Championship,” remarked Nick Jeggo. Another favourite is Fred Morini, an Italian who is riding the Nocturne for the second time after recovering from a cycling accident that left him paralysed. Fred used to be part of the Gerolsteiner team and is looking to turn Pro. “I like riding the Newport Nocturne because it’s so different from a normal road race. I will be there to make a good race of the course but we’ll see on Saturday,” said Fred.
Don’t miss your chance to see how they all get on whilst enjoying the entertainment. “The Newport Nocturne has a different atmosphere because it’s at night. The bars and restaurants are open and there’s a jazz and rock band. The riders can be seen so well and will be flashing past every minute or two,” said Nick Jeggo.
To find out more go to http://www.bikerace.co.uk