Smithfield Nocturne kicks off London Festival of Architecture

This summer’s Smithfield Nocturne will be one of the opening events of the London Festival of Architecture. The series of races, that culminates with a pro-event around Smithfield market in central London, is extended this year with the fun kicking off at 2pm on Saturday, June 19.

With the roads closed off, the organisers will let families ride around the traffic free circuit during the afternoon before the racing starts later on. Although the pro event entertains the spectators as darkness falls, the highlight is often the folding bike race, as blazer clad city types run to their bikes, unfold them before taking on the short, tight circuit.

So popular are folding bike races becoming that one Spanish man is bringing a team with him to Smithfield. Enrique Casanovas has put together an 11-strong team of riders from across Europe who will be attending nine events throughout 2010. However, Casanovas is more excited about his bespoke folding bike team car. “Developing my own folding bike team car has been a dream – a dream it has taken seven years to realise and then two solid months of work to get up and running,” he said,

“It can carry 15 Strida bikes, equipment for 10 people and we will take it all over Europe for racing, events and shows – people may think we are mad but it is my passion – I love folding bikes, racing them, taking them to events and talking about them!”
The London Festival of Architecture this year has a cycling theme to it as organisers encourage people to get around the various exhibitions and open buildings by bike.

Smithfield Nocturne website

The London Festival of Architecture website

Spragg going well at Tour of Belgium

Briton James Spragg is sitting in 80th spot after three stages of the Tour of Belgium. The Dave Raynor funded rider is riding for the Dutch Qin cycling team. Spragg finished well on the first stage to finish with the main group in appalling conditions as others lost time, and has positioned himself well on stages two and three.

Spragg, from Exeter, is based in Geleen in the Netherlands and moved to the Qin team after riding with Trek Marco Polo last year.

New backer for Sportscover team

The British Sportscover team of erstwhile riders John Tanner and Kevin Dawson has attracted a new sponsor for the 2010 season. Building contractor Strategic Team Group has come on board, backing the team as they continue their assault on the Premier Calendar series while also developing young riders such as Jake Tanner, Ben Last, Alex Wallis, Josh Cole and James Wagner.

The team will also get involved in mentoring leisure cyclists taking part in the company’s 10 City Bike Challenge in June. The riders will ride from the companies headquarters in Castleford to Munich, visiting ten cities in the UK, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. The route is around 600 miles long with funds raised going to the Prince of Wales Hospice in Pontefract.

Colnago teams up with the Fireflies

Ernesto Colnago has provided the London based Firefly riders with exclusive bikes as they continue to raise money for Leuka. The enigmatic frame builder has designed Master X-lights and EPS frames after being approached by Firefly member Chris Haworth. The group announced the partnership at the Rapha Cycle Club earlier today.

Colnago will build more limited edition frames in this ilk later this year, with a large percentage of any money raised going to Leuka.

Other British news….
Barclays were announced as the sponsor of the London Cycle Hire Scheme earlier today. The bank will have it’s logo on the 6,000 bikes to be positioned all round London, and will also be visible on the fleet of maintenance vehicles and staff.

Malcolm Elliott (Motorpoint Marshals pasta) proved age isn’t catching up with him yet as he won round two of the Tour Series in Durham on Thursday night. Elliott won the sprint ahead of Kristian House who’s Rapha team who maintained their lead in the all important team classification.

Sky has announced 12 events in it’s 2010 Sky ride calendar. The first events take place in Bath and Southampton on July 25th, with Birmingham hosting the final ride on September 5th.