Team Sky’s Alex Dowsett yesterday evening won the IG Markets London Nocturne – formerly the Smithfield Nocturne – with the fifth edition of the annual event attracting a record 10,000 fans to the streets around the capital’s historic meat market, according to organisers.
The 22-year-old from Essex, who joined Team Sky from the Trek-Livestrong under-23 team at the end of last season, attacked early on and had lapped the peloton by the halfway stage of the hour-long race.
Dowsett finished a second shy of a minute ahead of the second and third placed riders, James McCallum of Rapha Condor Sharp and Endura Racing’s Jack Bauer. Afterwards, he said: “The crowd were phenomenal, they really kept me going. This is my kind of crit and I raced it like a track. The first part was hell but when I saw the back of the bunch before me it all fell in to place.”
Hannah Barnes of Motorpoint won the women’s elite race for the third year in a row, and following her victory she commented: “I love the Nocturne events, the crowds and the atmosphere are unbeatable.”
That was one of several supporting events, with the others seeing Team Schroders picking up the IG Markets Team Challenge, David Rees of Brompton taking the Kansi Folding Bike Race, Jim Sullivan of Brixton Cycles the Schwalbe Fixed Gear Longest Skid competition and James Brailsford emerging victorious in the first penny-farthing race to be held in London for more than a century.
Founder and organiser James Pope said: “2011 was another record breaking year for the IG Markets London Nocturne, with crowds of approximately 10,000 people over the course of the day. There was some unbelievable racing with Alex Dowsett and Hannah Barnes picking up the top honours.
“From elite riders from World Tour teams to the fastest Folding Bike riders in the world, the event brings some of the best cycling talent around to the heart of the City of London and aims to appeal to anyone with any interest in cycling.”
Highlights of the event will be shown on Sky Sports next Friday at 7pm, the first time it has been televised.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.