Racing in the dark on the tricky Smithfield circuit

What’s it like to race on the road, in the dark? This video from the Madison-Genesis team makes it look really rather scary - and really rather fun.

Team rider Tobyn Horton took the win at the Jupiter London Nocturne Series, Schwalbe Elite Criterium on Saturday June 7, and in this clip he and his teammates discuss the challenges of the race, which started not long before dusk and as Horton puts it “It’s fully dark by the end.”

That means that as well as the tight, technical course around Smithfield Market, riders have to contend with the glare of streetlights and spectator flashes going off in their eyes. As another puts it: “Yeah, you can’t see what you’re doing.”

If you want to see the whole race, highlights will be screened on Eurosport on Friday, June 13 at 7.30pm and on Channel 4 on Saturday June 14 at 5.30am.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.


Miles253 [198 posts] 3 years ago

it was a really fun evening actually, definitely be there next year

Mombee [84 posts] 3 years ago

It was a fantastic evening, Louis (age 13) is already planning next year's trip… Just put our London Nocturne video up on Vimeo… https://vimeo.com/98126283
Not as slick as Madison's, but we've got some of the pennyfarthing racing and Women's Elite race.

antonio [1163 posts] 3 years ago

Watched the highlights this morning, a great looking event all round, something for everyone and fun.