Cyclists encircle Smithfield for Nocturne races

AN UNLIKELY velodrome sprang up around Smithfield’s meat market on Friday night as the area prepared for its annual Nocturne races, sponsored by Jupiter. The usual mix of early clubbers arriving at Fabric and refrigerated lorries full of sides of beef were replaced by cycle enthusiasts of every stripe, from elite athletes to masters of the penny farthing.

Full points for City style have to go to Keith Henderson, who finished first in the five-lap folding bike race while dressed in a sharp black suit.

And what could be more London than the Nocturne’s inaugural race fought out on Boris bikes? It was won after a furious sprint by Ryan Carus, although in the spirit of the capital’s mayor, many competitors seemed simply intent on enjoying themselves.

As darkness fell, it was down to the most serious sporting business, and Tobyn Horton rode to a powerhouse victory in the Elite Criterium. Nicola Juniper won the women’s Criterium.

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