News: Newport Nocturne Attracts 15,000 spectators

Returning for the first time in 4 years, the iconic, and original, floodlit cycling race, the Newport Nocturne, was back with a vengeance last month with around 15,000 spectators lining the streets to cheer on the racing

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News: Newport Nocturne Attracts 15,000 spectators

Returning for the first time in 4 years, the iconic, and original, floodlit cycling race, the Newport Nocturne, was back with a vengeance this month with around 15,000 spectators lining the streets to cheer on the cyclists.

Visitors from around the whole of the UK poured into Telford and Shropshire to welcome back the Newport Nocturne as it returned to huge support from local and national crowds. Whilst the focus was, as always, the exciting night time racing through the streets of Newport, this year had an extra festival feel with shops open late, street entertainment and a large screen for crowds to watch the event. There was also the opportunity for families (non-professionals) to ride the course themselves.

With such huge numbers turning up to support the race, the event provided a record breaking half a million pound injection into the local Newport economy and the wider Telford area, giving a fantastic boost to local businesses and tourism in the area.

This year’s event was able to capitalise on the huge popularity of cycling in the UK and enthusiasm for whole family cycling events with investment and support from Telford and Wrekin Council through their DEFRA Rural Tourism project. This enabled increased national promotion and creative marketing, both online and outdoor, event branding, event content development, professional event photography, videography and more.

As far as the competition went, the racing was very exciting with 90 pro riders battling it out in three events. Nicola Juniper dominated the Ludgate Finance Women’s Nocturne by escaping the field early along with team mate Jo Tindley. Jo eventually took the ‘Queen of the Sprints’ points prize, which she also won on the previous two editions of the women’s race.
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The second event was something unique to Newport – the Matthew Morris Design Super Sprint – a one-lap event with 3 heats and a final, which debuted here in 2014. A popular win in this one as triple Olympic Champion Ed Clancy progressed easily from the heats to take the victory ahead of multi-National Champion Dan Bigham.

As darkness descended, and the floodlights took full effect, the Schwalbe Tyres Men’s Newport Nocturne got under way. From the start it was Canyon-Eisberg controlling the pace, with a strong JLT-Condor squad unusually taking a back seat. A war of attrition ensued, with riders increasingly being dropped from the back of the lead group rather than breaking away from the front. With the group down to around a dozen riders, it came to a sprint and as the leaders caught a group of lapped riders it was popular local rider and twice World Champion, Andy Tennant (Canyon-Eisberg) who took the win, ahead of team mate Charles Page and JLT-Condor’s Graham Briggs.

Organisers Di and Nick Jeggo were thrilled with how well received the event went down after its four year break, especially as this year’s event was held in memory of Nick’s father, Mick, who founded the event in 1989 and sparked an enthusiasm for floodlit races across the UK. He was a well known and loved member of the Newport community and Nick and Di were keen to acknowledge his ingenuity in creating this original race. Nick was overwhelmed by the support of the crowds and the local community and for the huge support the event enjoyed from Newport Town Council. “After a four year break we weren’t sure what sort of crowd we’d get. We needn’t have worried, because it was massive! There were a few stand out points for us. The Galliers Homes ‘Ride the Course’ event was much more popular than we could have imagined for its first running. We had all sorts of bikes, including recumbents and lots of families, mixed in with a few Pros checking out the circuit. At times it was difficult for the crossing point marshals to find a gap between riders to let people cross. A nice problem to have!”

Shirley Reynolds, cabinet member for Education, Skill and Life Long Learning of Telford & Wrekin Council was thrilled with how successful the event was: “The Newport Nocturne has brought together local people, UK visitors and pro athletes to experience a unique event with significant national profile. Telford is an exceptional sporting destination home to Sport England’s Lilleshall National Sport Centre, Dawley BMX Track which hosts the UK BMX Championships and not forgetting the Olympic size facilities at the Telford Ice Rink.

Events Tourism is a major growth sector for us here in Telford. We will continue to capitalise on opportunities to grow our visitor economy through events like this that are great for our local people and great for our visitors too. I look forward to celebrating more events in the build up to our big Telford’s 50th Birthday.”

Di Jeggo thanked everyone who had supported the event and says they are now focused on when to promote the next Newport Nocturne, and again be part of an exciting events and festivals calendar for Telford and Shropshire showcasing new culture, arts and sporting and lifestyle festivals. The couple’s next promotion will be the “Queen Victoria Cycle Cross” which is an off-road event and another unique, family friendly evening taking place around Blists Hill Victorian Museum.

For anyone who may have missed the Newport Nocturne in 2018, there is always the chance to ride the circuit with a visit to the famous town of Newport and a stay in the beautiful County of Shropshire. From its quintessential English Market towns, World Heritage Sites and Areas of outstanding beauty to its vibrant culture, dining and entertainment, it’s the perfect place for a UK seasonal break!



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