Chris Hoy and Geraint Thomas at the Salford Nocturne
Over 5000 spectators descended on Salford Quays on the evening of Saturday 30th August to enjoy a spectacular evening of bike racing and welcome home Olympic heroes Chris Hoy, Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy.
Olympic champions Paul Manning and Bradley Wiggins were also in attendance cheering on their team mates from the VIP area in the Lowry.
Salford resident Chris Hoy received the biggest cheers as the riders were presented on stage. Chris later took on Geoff Thomas in a Rollapaluza roller race challenge, providing an excellent addition to the Nocturne programme.
“It’s been a great evening, I’ve really enjoyed it” commented Hoy. “It’s fantastic that Salford has been able to put on such a top event. Sport can be real inspiration for people and it’s great to see so many people enjoying this event right on their doorsteps. The Quays is an exciting place and the crowds have had a stunning backdrop to watch the races.”
The main event of the evening, the Pannone Elite Criterium, featured Clancy and Thomas but the Olympic champions were clearly feeling the effects of their efforts in Beijing as they struggled to challenge the other British pros. Nevertheless the race provided plenty of action on the challenging Salford Quays circuit with Science in Sport’s Ian Wilkinson riding clear to take an impressive solo victory.
The Salford Nocturne was the first major cycling race in the UK since the Olympics and the event was brought to Salford to feature as part of Salford City Council’s programme of events, eventFull! and part of the council’s Visit Salford campaign.
Event organisers FACE are now planning to return to Salford as part of the Nocturne Series in 2009. For full results and images from the event visit www.salfordnocturne.com .