Hoy out, Hammond in!

Continental cycling star Roger Hammond has stepped in to replace Olympic Champion Chris Hoy at the Shropshire Star Newport Nocturne taking place this Saturday, September 10 in Newport, UK. With Hoy injured, the organisers needed a big name rider to fill the gap. Promoter Nick Jeggo said "It's fantastic to have another top rider at the event. It was a big worry when we heard Chris Hoy couldn't make it. With a popular rider like Roger taking part in his place we 'll still get a massive crowd".

Hammond, a team mate of Lance Armstrong, has just completed the Tour of Britain where he won stage two and went on to finish 3rd in the overall Sprints competition. The Discovery Channel Team rider is a former World Cyclo Cross Champion, but over the years he has gradually devoted more of his energy to road racing. In 2004 Hammond sprinted to third place in the classic Paris-Roubaix race, and this performance brought him to the attention of seven times Tour de France winner, Armstrong, who then signed him for his Discovery Team.

Nocturne newcomer Hammond will first ride the special Inter County Couriers Olympian Challenge one lap time trial against the likes of Olympic medallists Jason Queally and Rob Hayles. Straight after that effort he will be on the start line for the main Elite race. Although he is a superb circuit race rider, Hammond will be up against the last winner, Russ Downing, ex Milk Race winner Malcolm Elliott and, of course Newport's own Ian Holt who won the Bob Chicken Grand Prix in Westminster on Saturday.

The Shropshire Star Newport Nocturne begins 6.45pm. For more information, go to www.bikerace.co.uk

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