Professional cycle racing comes to the streets of the City of London on Saturday 10th June for the 11th edition of the Rapha Nocturne London.
WorldTour riders including Cannondale-Drapac’s Wouter Wippert and Will Clarke and Barbara Guarischi of Canyon/SRAM Racing, will go up against the cream of British domestic talent on a tight and testing 1.2 kilometre course in the heart of the City of London in sight of the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral. Awaiting the WorldTour riders are a host of experienced British professionals, used to the cut and thrust of crit racing, including JLT Condor’s triple Olympic Champion Ed Clancy, his experienced team-mate Russell Downing, Team Wiggins’ Andy Tennant and Kristian House of One Pro Cycling.
“It will be great to have some WorldTour riders coming here again” said Clancy, “but we’ve got a good crit team this year. Brenton Jones has won the Bay Crit Series. Ian Bibby, Briggsy [Graham Briggs], you saw them last year in the Tour Series – and let’s not forget Mouldy [Jon Mould] who, I’ve got to say is probably the best crit rider in the UK right now.
“As a team, we’ve got a good package so hopefully we can get some riders there in good form on the day.”
The elite women’s event – where there is guaranteed to be a new name on the roll of honour – also boasts a strong field, including former RideLondon Grand Prix winner Barbara Guarischi of Canyon/SRAM Racing, Emily Kay of Team WNT and Neah Evans of Storey Racing.
Under the banner ‘Ride all day, race all Night’, the Rapha Nocturne London allows the public to ride the course during the day before a programme of cycle racing begins at 16:00 with the Penny Farthing race and featuring folding bike, Masters and fixed wheel races. Then the elite women take to the course at 20:30 and the elite men at 21:20. The event is free to watch; just find a vantage point on the course and take advantage of the shops, bars, cafes and restaurants that line the circuit.
James Pope of Nocturne organisers FACE Partnership said, “We close down streets right in the heart of the City and create a race circuit for one day only.
“It’s a great mix and a different dynamic that no other race has. There is going to be a lot more to the event this year with a Rapha Village on the finish line and Rider Village in Guildhall Yard – we’re planning a real party atmosphere right in the heart of the City of London.”
The Rapha Nocturne London is the first leg of a newly announced World Criterium Series, supported by Rapha and including a new race in Copenhagen in August.
“With the creation of the international series we wanted to develop the format slightly to link the events and saw an opportunity to create a World Crit Series”, said Pope.
“Riders in both the elite men’s and women’s races will score World Series points in each city. Bonus points will also be available on a series of sprints during each race so racing could get tactical with riders aiming for sprints as well as the final standings.
“With the support of Rapha we are planning to take the event to some of the most iconic cities in the world, Copenhagen being the first city later this year and then expanding to the US and beyond.”
Rapha Nocturne London is live on Eurosport from 21:15 on Saturday evening, the full schedule is here.
Visit www.raphanocturne.com for further information.
The Rapha Nocturne London – a unique free to attend festival of cycling featuring the world’s most prestigious Criterium race – is coming to the City of London on 10th June.