Ed Clancy will line up in Blackpool this Saturday night looking to take a second consecutive win in the event. The national criterium champion will have his Tour Series winning Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta team behind him.
The fast, flowing 900m circuit has one hairpin turn and just two right-hand bends to slow the peloton down now they’re approaching the end of a gruelling crit season. The new circuit is based around Blackpool’s Winter Gardens and takes the riders through the visually arresting ‘Brilliance’ light show.
Add the Tour Series to the National Circuit series, the previous two Nocturnes and the national championships and Blackpool becomes the 21st top level crit of 2010. Clancy has won three of those, two in the circuit series and the nationals, in a two week purple patch through the middle of July.
Clancy and his team mates will come up against a strong Rapha Condor Sharp team lead by Kristian House. House was critical of tactics used in the British crits in an exclusive story in this week’s Cycling Weekly.
The former national road champion said throughout the summer riders from many teams had been using underhand methods to help their team mates throughout the summer crit season. “Unless somebody sees it and the commissaires get the balls to do anything about it, it’s going to continue to happen.”
Read the full article in this week’s Cycling Weekly.
House will have seven team mates with him, including Chris Newton, who this week announced his retirement from international racing (story also in this week’s Cycling Weekly). Newton will become the Olympic Academy coach in September but will remains contracted to Rapha through to the end of the year.
Sigma Sport, Kuota-Road CC and Cyclepremier.com Metaltek are the other big teams competing on the night, while 2002 Tour de France stage winner Rubens Bertogliati – the Italian has even been honoured with number one position on the start list.
Other events on the night include the CYcling Weekly support race, an-always-entertaining folding bike race, a youth race and the Cycle Hire Challenge race where entrants will race two laps of the circuit before having to correctly dock their bikes after the finish line. Surely a race to hit London’s streets very soon.
Racing starts at 6pm, with the Elite race starting at 9pm.
Riders line up for the start of the 2009 Blackpool Nocturne
The sun goes down on Blackpool to make for a spectacular finish
Blackpool Nocturne gets brilliant new circuit
Nocturne series official website