World class city centre cycling comes to the City of London on 7 June when
the Smithfield Nocturne hosts a cycling showdown between the UKs leading pro
2007 winner James
Huge crowds and full bars in 2007
Warrick Spence led a long lone break
in 2007, much to the delight of the crowd
James McCallum celebrates
Now part of the British Cycling National Circuit Series, the Smithfield Nocturne
elite criterium will be the second race in this year’s competition, featuring
the leading UK teams and individuals racing on a closed 1 km circuit for one
hour plus five laps.
Revenge will be in the minds of the Rapha Condor Recycling team following victory
in last years’ inaugural race by Plowman Craven’s James
McCallum, the current National Criterium Champion. The scene is set for
a head to head clash between these two British super teams, with both the men
in black and the men in pink entering their top names.
Lining up for Rapha Condor Recycling will be Olympic silver medallist Chris
Newton, only recently returned to racing after injury. Newton will be joined
by team mates Kristian House and last year’s runner up Dean Downing, keen
to go one better this time in an event supported by his Team’s sponsor.
“The Nocturne is a great race and effectively our Team’s home race
since it’s presented by Rapha Condor” said Downing. “I’m
keen to win, and I definitely think we’re the in-form team this year.
We’ve already beaten Plowman Craven in the opening race of the series
and I also won the opening road race of the season so they’ll have their
work cut out!”
Among the Rapha Condor Recycling line up will be Graham Briggs who took the
first scalp of the season in the contest between the teams when he won the Hillingdon
GP circuit race last week. Briggs’s early form will be crucial against
the strength of the Plowman Craven squad, but Rapha are unlikely to win without
Despite recent surgery to his shoulder, Commonwealth Games medalist and current
National Criterium Champion McCallum is planning to defend his title and he’ll
be bringing some quality team mates to help him. Plowman Craven dominated circuit
racing last season, winning both the individual and team honours in the National
Series: Simon Gaywood, a former National Series winner who took three races
in last years’ competition will be joined at the Nocturne by Tony Gibb
who only lost to Briggs by a matter of inches in the opening round.
“We’re going to repeat our win of last year” exclaimed a
typically forthright McCallum. “Things may be going Rapha’s way
on the road at the moment, but closed circuits are our territory and we mean
it to stay that way.”
While the big teams posture and debate which of them will win, the nature of
circuit racing means that good individual riders can always steal victory from
the bigger squads. Look out for Rob Hayles of Team Halfords Bikehut, a former
National, World’s and Olympic medallist, and a potential Great Britain
team member in Beijing later this year. As Voltaire said, battles aren’t
won by the big battalions but by the best shots…..
More races will be added for the 2008 event creating an action packed race programme.
17:05 – Halfords Cycle 2 Work Folding Bike Race – Heat 1
17:20 – Inter Schools Challenge Roller Race – Heats
17:45 – Halfords Cycle 2 Work Folding Bike Race – Heat 2
18:00 – Cycling Weekly Support Race
18:55 – Inter Schools Challenge Roller Race – Semi-Finals
19:05 – City of London Challenge
19:45 – All Star Race
20:10 – Inter Schools Challenge Final
20:25 – Halfords Cycle 2 Work Folding Bike Race – Final
20:45 – National Circuit Series Elite Criterium
21:55 – Prize Giving on Main Stage
Website – www.smithfieldnocturne.co.uk.