Sunday, June 12, 2011

IG Markets Nocturne Criterium & Paul Smith!

The event held yesterday down at Smithfield markets yesterday was quite a large event. Going by the organisers website it was record crowd. For me it was the first criterium event I've been to and also first race in London.

What I liked about the event was the relaxed atmosphere and what it means for a country to have it's own UCI Professional team in Team Sky. What I would love to see eventually happen in Australia with GreenEDGE cycling. Also a night time criterium would always be a welcome novelty

The event's day started with support races with Penny Farthing bikes, folding bikes, fixie skids and the womens criterium. The womens criterium was 30 minutes plus 5 minutes of a 1.1km track. Eventual winner Hannah Barnes riding for Motorpoint was all class leading many of the laps before taking out the sprint finish ahead of teammate Lucy Garner and Helen Wyman for the Horizon Fitness team. The three riders stormed away from the peleton and was never caught again

1. Hannah Barnes         Motorpoint
2. Lucy Garner              Motorpoint
3. Helen Wyman            Horizon Fitness
4. Annie Simpson          Horizon Fitness
5. Amy Roberts             For Vioned Brookvex 
For the Elite Mens Criterium, the course consisted of 60 minutes plus 5 laps. It was a 70 strong field with riders from the UCI Pro teams Garmin Cervelo, HTC Highroad and Team Sky.
HTC Highroad Irish road champion Matt Brammeier
From the outset the pace was frantic and by 15 minutes in, Alex Dowsett from Team Sky had set the pace so high he was lapping the back of the field. He continued this pace and there was nothing that the chase group could do to react. An excellent ride!

My timekeeper friend
Rapha Condor Sharp sporting Paul Smith design

Leigh Howard HTC Highroad

The photos I took during this night haven't turned out as well as I had hoped however flickr user bluetrainatlondon has a great set that he has taken.
With race winner Alex Dowsett

I had also briefly met Sir Paul Smith who presented the winners on the podium. The Rapha Condor Sharp team were sporting a brand new jersey designed by Paul Smith with proceeds going to Japan's earthquake appeal. Its inspiring that sport and fashion can put their weight behind helping worthy causes. I had made a visit to Tokyo before landing in London only missing the disaster by five days. It's very easy to forget that Japanese people are struggling to rebuild and I would be very keen to pick up a jersey myself
Paul Smith jersey available from Rapha (image sourced from Paul Smith's blog)
I'm the short asian on the right if you got confused

After reading a bit more of Paul's blog I realized how much he loves his cycling. From reading a few forums quite a while back I had known he had aspirations of being a cyclist but turned to mens fashion due to injury. The limit of my knowledge was the Rapha Condor Sharp team had some connection and Paul designed some messenger bags & wallets with the print below.
PS Messenger Bag (image from Selectism)
 Youtube was a great source of information and I saw that he attended this year's Giro. Such a shame I didn't get to see him while over there it would have been lots of fun. He is also very good friends of Mark Cavendish (who just received a MBE in the Queen's birthday honours list), Bradley Wiggins and David Millar who won the final time trial stage of the Giro (also with a new autobiography).

It was great to meet you Sir Paul, thank you for taking a few moments to chat with me.

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