Report: 2010 HTC Smithfield Nocturne

Report: 2010 HTC Smithfield Nocturne

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2010 HTC Smithfield Nocturne

June 19, 2010; by Larry Hickmott in London

Sir Paul Smith, Jack Bauer, Ian Bibby, Zak Dempster and Mark Cavendish celebrate the Elite race result at the end of the night

The Nocturne Series carries on getting bigger and better and the HTC sponsored one at Smithfield  Market in London on Saturday night was proof of that with a massive crowd and some exciting racing. Despite some rain falling during the afternoon, the evening became brighter and dryer much to the relief of the crowd, the officials  and the riders who were able to give their all in the races.

Photo slideshow of the main races held at the Smithfield Nocturne

Elite Nocturne

With Mark Cavendish making an appearance on stage before the race and his Columbia teammate Matt Goss racing the event, there was plenty of hype to the big event of the evening which was as fast and furious as all the Elite circuit races have been in the last month. A break of four riders, Darren Lapthorne (Rapha Condor Sharp) , Ian Bibby (Motorpoint Marshals Pasta) , Zak Dempster (Rapha Condor Sharp) and  Jack Bauer (Endura Racing) escaped very early on after a fast start had riders being dropped from almost the word go.

Despite being almost caught at one stage, the break managed to open up the gap again to well over half a minute which gave them time for some cat and mouse in the final few laps. Lapthorne tried to soften up his rivals while Dempster waited for the sprint but Ian Bibby, who won the Halfords Tour Series race in Stoke on Thursday night, was equal to that challenge and the Aussie Dempster was unable to come around him, giving Bibby his second win in three days.

Afterwards, Motorpoint’s Bibby was pleased with his nights work while Rapha could only rue the fact that one of the tactical options they had available to them, the one they went with, didn’t bring them the much sought after victory they wanted in their home race.

Ian Bibby gets ready to celebrate winning the 2010 Smithfield Nocturne in London.

It couldn’t be much better for me right now” Ian Bibby explained afterwards. “I was a bit worried I was outnumbered in the break but Jack (Bauer) was also kicking quite hard and every time he went, I thought its not for me to chase so I left it to Rapha and they’d jump me and I’d jump on their wheel. Rapha didn’t attack that much to be honest and I thought they were going to be hitting me a lot more. They had a few goes but they weren’t really gapping me and I was gambling a bit thinking Jack will close them down because I knew he didn’t want to leave it to a sprint.

Coming into the finish and when we came round here (the pits) , I was third wheel and I was going to attack past the pits and then try and get a gap round the corners and sprint to the finish but as I came towards the pits, Lapthorne had gone on the previous corner and gapped Bauer.  So I went past Jack, dived into the second last corner second wheel, held on and kicked out of the last corner.

Special guest for the Smithfield Nocturne was Aussie Matt Goss who won a stage of the Giro this year.

Ian admitted that he wasn’t aware that the peloton were closing in on the break when they were messing about because with two Rapha riders there, Bibby and Bauer weren’t keen on dragging them around. Especially with so much racing, riders are starting to get tired. As Ian explained, since the Irish RAS at the end of May, he’s been racing Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday and Friday as well (Leazes). He hadn’t expected to race as hard as he did at Smithfield because he does have an eye on the National Road  Race Champs which take place not far from where he lives.

Despite having shown himself pretty quick in a sprint, Ian admits he is more of a climber which is just as well with the British Champs being on such a hilly course. “With all thse crits, I have been thinking it might be a bit of a right off but I have to keep reminding myself, it is not that long since I have done a stage race and if the legs are good, then they’re good aren’t they? Whether’s it an hour or four hours. I’ll see how it goes and anything can happen on the day.”

Aussie Zak Dempster (above) on the other hand was one unhappy boy afterwards, livid even as he said on his Twitter feed the morning after, at not providing the local team the victory they so wanted. Zak explained that he and Dean Windsor had talked the race over on the drive down and knew they had to be aggressive. And that they were with the ‘The Duke’ (Windsor) and the rest of the Aussies in the Rapha team thrilling the crowd with their big attacks early on.

In the end, two Aussies made the break and it wasn’t the special guest Matt Goss of HTC Columbia but the two men in black from Rapha, Dempster and Darren Lapthorne. Zak explained “Unlike the Tour Series which is more tactical, this sort of race is suited to being aggressive so I was off the front of the race for four laps by myself and then afterwards, anything that moved, I was with it. Dean rode the same way but was unlucky not to make the selection”.

I sat last wheel waiting to jump whereas I should have moved up to Lappers wheel if he was going to lead out. I don’t think Ian is that much faster than me but he was positioned well and that is the secret of crit racing. I had goose bumps coming round the last lap with people banging on the boards and they definitely have the atmosphere right.

The racing in the UK is going from strength to strength and I hope it continues and guys come here. It would be good to see the country get another UCI race like Lincoln. Instead of having a field of 200 and having 50 good guys it would be good to have lots of good international teams and UCI races happening”.

In the globalisation of cycling, countries like Britain and Australia are hungry for this cycling culture and that is evident in the number of people here tonight or you go to a race like the Tour Down Under or the Tour of Britain.

Zak added that since he has come back from the Tour of Japan, he’s been doing four races a week and like a lot of the pro peloton, has been ill this week as well. He then admitted that he hoped that no-one noticed his dirty ‘nicks’ (shorts) on the podium after he ‘chucked norrised’ with about ten laps to go.” An example of just how tough the racing is for these guys who have never had a racing programme so busy as it is right now.

Dean Windsor wins the sprint for 5th place ahead of Ed Clancy.

Women’s Circuit Race

Podium for the women's race, Nicola Juniper, Hannah Barnes and Corrine Hall.

Hannah Barnes, a hot favourite for the event after winning the race the year before, didn’t disappoint after an exciting and attacking race in front of a growing crowd at the barriers of this popular event. The women didn’t waste any time turning the heat up in their race and many riders soon found themselves in trouble as a small group containing many of the favourites drew clear.

Barnes was one of those riders as was her close rival Corrine Hall and the ever aggressive Nicola Juniper. The latter, wearing the bright orange colours of PCA Ciclos Uno, tried so many times to break the small lead group up, entering the home straight with her head down and giving it full gas only to find the likes of Barnes and Hall glued to her wheel.

Nicola Juniper on the attack during the Women's race.

The break, which also included Louise Mahe, Sarah King, Claire Beaumont and Natasha Perry, was going so much faster than the rest of the riders that they had lapped them by the second half of the fourty minute race and then had to spend many more laps trying to get clear again so they’d have a clear run in the sprint. This they managed and at the bell, as ever, Juniper was on the front and keeping the speed high. With the race being televised live to the crowd on a big screen, they were able to follow them round the final lap and first into view down the long finish straight was Barnes who had time before the line to raise her arms and celebrate in front of the crowd cheering her on.

There can be nothing like winning front of a big crowd like this and it's certainly something that agrees with Junior Hannah Barnes

After the race, Hannah explained “I didn’t want a big group at the finish because knowing me, I’d get boxed in so I was pleased with how the race went. We were all riding well out there and Nicola was riding hard to get away . This event is great. At a road race, the only people there are those like my parents but this is really big.”

Support Race (2/3/4)

Winner of the Support race Wayne Crombie.

As is common for races of this category, there was a really large entry lining up on the start line and within a lap, they were stretched along the length of the finish straight as the pace at the front was quickly gathering momentum.

Splits soon started to appear in the group and it wasn’t long before a break formed. The numbers in the break dwindled lap by lap until only a handful riders were left in contention including Wayne Crombie, Chris Tune, James Waite, Stuart Spies, Mark Thomson, Robert Moore. But even with such a small break, one member of the break was not content with the odds of a victory and soon Chris Tune was out front alone with a small gap on the rest of his former companions.

Despite the rest chasing furiously, Tune managed to hold onto his lead for a number of laps in the final 15 minutes of the race but it was too early to be able to hold that position at the speed of the race and he came back to the break as the five lap to go board was shown. With the speed high, nothing was getting away and the race ended up being decided in a sprint with Crombie winning the race to the line by over a length from Tune with Waite in third place.

Chris Tune full gas as he tries to escape his rivals in the break.

The event

The Smithfield Nocturne is much more than just a bike race. It is an event that encompasses so many things. Stalls abounded selling all sorts of things from cycling kit to food, drink and ice-creams. HTC, the event headline sponsor, had a truck with bikes available for anyone to come along and generate power to charge their phone and opposite the HTC truck was a group of actors playing  out a scene from a fictional stage in the Tour de France.

The village connected to the race added a great deal of atmosphere to the event and then when the crowd complete with their HTC periscopes assembled two, three or four deep along the barriers to watch the racing which was non-stop, the jigsaw was complete for a great spectacle that shows how entertaining a bike race can be.

Kristian House dispensing icecream's to the crowd during the Laverstoke Park Ice Cream Race.

Over five hours long from start to finish, the event began with heats of the Folding bike race and whilst there were many who were keen on winning the race, there were also those just as keen to add to the spectacle with their fancy dress. Then there were the other races like the one with the ice cream vendor bikes with ringer Kristian House turning his legs to something a bit different. The longest skid competition was entertaining and over in the blink of an eye and it wasn’t until 10.30 in the evening by the time the crowds melted away, smiling, noisy and some a little but tipsy but above all, happy with their taste of bike racing in the big city.

The first of three in the Face Partnership Nocturne Series was now over but with the next one only weeks away in Edinburgh on July 3,  more great action is on the cards and promises to be just as eventful as Smithfield but with a large dose of Scottish flavour. Bring it on!

A super hero comes to the rescue of the Folding Bike race.

The race had its own village of stalls which busy all day even well before the racing began.

Our thanks to Mark Doel for his help in bringing you these results and the officials for their help during the event.

Provisional Results

1. Ian Bibby, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
2. Zak Dempster, Rapha Condor Sharp
3. Jack Bauer, Endura Racing
4. Darren Lapthorne, Rapha Condor Sharp
5. Dean Windsor, Rapha Condor Sharp
6. Ed Clancy, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
7. Malcolm Elliott, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
8. Marcel Six, Orbea, For Goodness Shakes
9. Matt Cronshaw, Rapha Condor Sharp
10. Andrew Tennant, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
11. Simon Gaywood, Corley Cycles
12. Jeroen Janssen, Kuota-Road CC
13. Dan Craven, Rapha Condor Sharp
14. David Lines, Endura racing,
15. James McCallum, Endura Racing
16. to be confirmed
17. Steven Higgins, Corley Cycles
18. Alex Dowsett, Trek-Livestrong
19. Jeff deBruin Kuota-Road CC
20. Andy Lyons, Orbea, For Goodness Shakes

Women's Race
1. Hannah Barnes, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
2. Corrina Hall, Team Corridori
3. Nicola Juniper, PCa Ciclos Uno
4. Louise Mahe, Team Mule Bar
5. Sarah King, Landgale Lightweights
6. Claire Beaumont, Rapha Condor Sharp
7. Natasha Perry, Rapha Condor Sharp
8. Sarah Bryne, Motorpoint Marshals Pasta
9. Elise Sherwell, Pearson Cycles
10. Maryha Sennema, Kingston Wheelers
11. Hannah Walker, GS Surosa
12. Caroline Harding, Finchley RT
13. Katie Fearnehough, Rapha Condor Sharp
14. Peta McSheery, Wiggle
15. Rohan Battison, Maxgear RT
16. Rachael Przybysli, Rapha Condor Sharp
17. Elizabeth Chittenden, Eagle RC
18. Mathilde Pauls, Pearson Cycles
19. Anna Glowinski, Team Mule Bar
20. Sabine Homrighausen, Kingston Wheelers

Support Race
1. Wayne Crombie, East London Velo
2. Chris Tune, unattached
3. James Waite, Pearson Cycles
4. Stuart Spies, London Dynamo Prologue
5. Mark Thomson, Dulwich Paragon
6. Robert Moore, London Phoenix
7. Arjan Planting, Affinity
8. Tony Smedly, London Dynamo Prologue
9. Andrew Sanders, Inverse RT Bikefood
10. Roger Maidment, East London Velo
11. John Fitzpatrick, Abergavenny RC
12. Anthony Moye, Luton CC
13. Andrew Udall, Mammonth Lifestyle
14. Barry Hughes, Richardson Bike Mart
15. Matthew Pilkington, Dulwich Paragon
16. Gavin Ryan, London Dynamo
17. Dermot Kealey, Finchley RT
18. Mark Perry, Dulwich Paragon
19. James Norris, High Wycombe CC
20. Christian Cormack, London Dynamo

Related Link
Report: 2009 Smithfield Nocturne