Sunday, 10 June 2012

IG London Nocturne Rapha Women's Criterium

Hannah Barnes won for the
fourth time
Following an outcry from riders and fans when British Cycling asked organisers to drop the women's race this year, Nocturne officials announced they'd go ahead and run the race provided sufficient female riders signed up - and so it was great to see more than 30 lined up on the start line, among them some of the best racers Britain and Europe have to offer.

It had rained for much of the week and many riders will have been expecting treacherous conditions on the several tight corners along the technical 1.05km parcours around Smithfield Market in London, but the riders enjoyed glorious evening sunshine as the race began. The weather also encouraged fans and interested onlookers to turn out in their thousands, and since the racing was first-rate, at least a few spectators with no previous interest in cycling will have gone home thinking that they might quite like to see some more in the future - making the event every bit as advantageous to women's cycling as it was to the local pubs, cafes and shops that did a roaring trade keeping everyone topped up with drinks and food.

Despite puncturing right at the start (Team UK Youth entered into the festival spirit of the event by supplying her with one of their own replacement wheels) Hannah Barnes of Ibis Cycles won for a fourth time after she successfully held off strong competition, not least of all from the older and more experienced big stars Helen Wyman and Sarah Storey who came eighth and tenth respectively. Dutch rider Hannah Welter was second, closely followed by Australian Belinda Goss (Escentual For VioRed).

A highlights programme including footage of the Rapha Criterium, the Elite Men's race, the penny-farthing and folding bike races and the longest fixie skid competition will be shown next Sunday at 07:10 on Channel 4 - the first cycling the broadcaster has scheduled since 2001 and, hopefully, the first of many (if you have better things to do at that time on a Sunday morning, it'll also be available on the 4OD catch-up service).
"I love the London Nocturne because of the course and the crowd support – the atmosphere is electric. It was great to race it and win it for the fourth time and I hope to be back again next year." - Hannah Barnes

1.      Hannah Barnes           Ibis Cycles
2.      Hannah Welter           Netherlands
3.      Belinda Goss            Escentual For VioRed
4.      Julia Soek                      Netherlands
5.      Harriet Owen            Node4 Giordana
6.      Nicola Juniper          Corvida Allpress
7.      Natalie Creswick                Team Mule Bar Girls
8.      Helen Wyman                     Kona Factory Racing
9.      Alice Barnes            23c Orbea
10.     Sarah Storey            Escentual For VioRed
11.     Corrine Hall            Node4-Giordana
12.     Lydia Boylan            Look Mum No Hands!
13.     Louise Mahe                     Team Mule Bar Girls
14.     Estelle Rogers          Corvida Allpress
15.     Elise Sherwell          Look Mum No Hands!
16.     Jo McRae                        Look Mum No Hands!
17.     Collyn Ahart            Eagle Road Club
18.     Emma Craddock           South Downs Bikes
19.     Jessie Walker           Matrix Fitness-Prendas
20.     Sarah Brook                     Team Mule Bar Girls
21.     Delia Beddis            ViCiOUS Velo
22.     Emily Bagnall           WyndyMilla-UK Youth
23.     Elle Hopkins            Escentual For VioRed
24.     Fiona Strouts           Stevens Bikes p/b Pactimo
25.     Elinor Winter           Corvida Allpress
26.     Elizabeth Chittenden    Eagle Road Club
27.     Stephanie May           Team Quest-The BIKE Shop
28.     Julie Granshaw          WyndyMilla / UK Youth
29.     Rohan Battison          Escentual For VioRed
30.     Sarah Kent                      Escentual For VioRed
31.     Eryn Nolan                      Pretorius Bikes

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