Friday, June 20, 2014
Crowds lined the streets of St Ives to watch almost 300 cyclists race in the town’s first nocturne event.
Thousands of spectators gathered throughout the afternoon and evening on Saturday to watch as riders of all ages from across the region descended on St Ives to race around Market Hill, Birt Lane, The Quay, Bridge Street and Merryland.
The under-8s and under-10s kicked off the day with a short route around Merryland and Crown Street, with Charlie Martin, Alfie Salmon and Harry Jay taking the podium places for the boys, and St Ives Cycling Club’s Beatrice Pauley winning the under-8/10s race.
Holly Hoy was St Ives CC’s only other winner of the day, in the under-14s girls race.
The races kept on going throughout the afternoon and into the night with races for the masters, experienced racers, elite women and elite men, won by Dean Shannon of professional team Richardsons-Trek.
There was also a spot of fun in the traders’ race, and the Oliver Cromwell was the toast of the town after winning the race which involved running to each pub along the route for a swift half before a sprint to the finishing line.
Tom Caldwell, of St Ives Cycling Club and the event organiser, said: “It was a massive success. We had quite a lot of cyclists who had never been to St Ives before who said what a nice place it was and that they would come back again, which is the main thing.
“It was a tight and technical course that was unique as it is set in the town centre with spectacular views of the bridge and river – usually these races are in industrial estates or out of the way.
“I am really proud that two of our own riders won. It was a great opportunity for the children to experience a race like this as normally they don’t get to ride in street races, it’s more on tracks.”
The nocturne, only one of four in the country, will return next year, with possibly a couple more added in the future.
“I’d like to get a series going in Huntingdon and St Neots as that will attract some more elite riders and build up the crowds,” added Mr Caldwell. “The idea is to get it like they have in Belgium, where most towns have an event like this, and it almost turns into a festival for each town.”