Rollapaluza ventured outside last weekend for what was claimed to be London's first night-time cyclo cross event and they proved just as adept at pulling the crowds outdoors as in. Herne Hill was the venue and Halloween Cyclocross was the name of the game with over a thousand competitors and spectators sampling the unique atmosphere of a nocturnal cross race with added fancy dress, licensed bar and music.
Rollapaluza and an army of volunteers spent almost two weeks smoothing out unlit singletrack as well as adding brand new floodlit features to the Herne Hill cross course including adding, a new berm, hurdy gurdy bumps, a double ramp and the crowd favourite a hurdle in the bar tent.
All adult categories were sold-out weeks before the event and nearly a hundred more riders tried to sign on in the days leading up to Halloween.
The evening kicked-off with youth racing the Under 12's competing on the infield only, but having to still negotiate two hurdles, the bumps and the ramps. The under 16 and under 14 riders got to compete on the full course and this race was as exciting to watch as any other, especially with the now huge crowds providing vocal encouragement.
As it turned out the racing for the adult categories was just as fast as any day-time cross event with Stuart Bowers taking the first prize in the Senior race of £200 of the £1000 prize pot put up by sponsors Tour de Ville. Following him were Jamie Newall and Matt Holmes with the first Dutch invitee Enrico Liebe managing 8th place. Corinne Hall won the Women's event by a minute from Jo McRae.
Possibly the most entertaining event for the specators though was the novices race with 80 keen first-time cross racers, MTB riders, single-speed and fixed-wheel riders taking to the darkness, there was a real mix of abilities, event sponsor Jos Van Veldhoven had an impressive ride taking second place behind Duane Stander despite riding fixed!
"We've been inundated with requests to repeat this event" said Rollapaluza's Caspar Hughes "and we've already booked Herne Hill for next year" when Halloween once again falls on a weekend.
The Rollapaluza team made it clear that this kind of event is not possible without the efforts of willing volunteers who they'd like to thank.
Knog and Fenix were there to provide high powered front lights for those that din't have their own, around a hundred sets were used and riders were offered 33% discount after the race.
The fancy dress prize was judged by Ana Nichoola female cycling fashion and accsessories brand, who provided goodie bags to best boy and girl, man and woman.
1. Stu Bowers Hargroves/ Scott
2. Jamie Newall VC MEUDON
3. Matt Holmes Arctic-Premier RT
4. Philip Glowinski VC Londres
5. Brian Curtis Team Corridori
1. Corrine Hall Team Corridori
2. Jo McRae Arctic Premier RC
3. Delia Beddis Dulwich Paragon
4. Elise Laverick Pearson Cycles
5. Nicky Hughes Activ Cycles
1. Kevin Knox Dulwich Paragon CC
2. Mick Bell London Fire Brigade cc
3. Matt Seaton Mosquito Bikes
4. Gary Bryant Old Portlians
5. Stuart Lockyear London Phoenix
1. Hugo Humphreys Mosquito Bikes
2. Patrick Scarboro Fit-For Cycles Dauphin
3. Wilf Sinclair Sutton CC
4. Euan Cattermole Velo Club Londres
1. Duane Stander
2. Jos Van Veldhoven Tour de Ville / Rollapaluza (first fixed)
3. Will Hayter London Dynamo
4. Sam Alison Singular Cycles
5. David Barnaville Sigma Sport
Youth U16 / U14:
1st Ashley Dennis VC Jubilee 1st U16
2nd Kieran Laurie VCL 2nd U16
3rd Tom Franklin HHYCC 1st U14
4th Noah Phillips VCL 2nd U14
5th Sam Judd HHYCC 3rd U16
1 U12b 323 Daniel Tulett HHYCC
2 U12B 319 David Barnes Palmer Park Velo
3 U10b 324 Ben Tulett HHYCC
4 U12B 302 Callum Mackie LVYCC
5 U12B 304 James Mitri VCL
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.