Team pursuit world champions Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy will be among the star names at the Smithfield Nocturne criterium in London this Saturday evening. The pair's last appearance in the UK saw them break the team pursuit world record at the World Track Championships in Manchester and both have since been racing in Europe with their respective pro teams.
Welshman Thomas, who last raced in London at the 2007 Tour de France, is looking forward to an evening racing around the historic Smithfield Markets. "It will be great to return to London as it's not often we get the opportunity to race there," he said. "The Nocturne is obviously a different prospect to the Tour de France but I'm really looking forward to it. I've just come off the back of the Giro so I'm up for mixing it up in a crit race."
The Barloworld rider has been able to rest his legs since the Giro, where he finished 12th in the final time trial. "I was pleased with my form in the Giro, especially in the final time trial," added Thomas. "It bodes well for my preparation towards the Olympics. I've had some rest this week and have a free schedule so it was a perfect opportunity to race against some of my GB team-mates and enjoy some action on the streets of London."
The race will also feature the best of Britain's domestic talent, including Chris Newton and Rob Hayles, while riders from as far afield as Spain and Slovenia will compete against London commuters in the folding bike race.
"It is a long way to fly to race," said Enrique Casanovas from Barcelona. "We have been thinking of creating a folding bike race in Girona for several years so we are delighted to be able to join the event in London. The Brompton World Championships were hosted in Barcelona but we particularly like the format of the Nocturne and are looking forward to an exciting race."
Full details of the Smithfield Nocturne can be found at www.smithfieldnocturne.co.uk