Organisers of the Newport Nocturne cycle race are tipping the 2012 event to be the best yet – with a crowd of about 15,000 expected to turn out tonight.
Multiple Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy, fellow Olympian Andy Tennant and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins’ wife Cath are among those taking part.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Ross Edgar, who won Olympic silver in 2008, is also due to ride.
The Nocturne features a women’s race for the first time while there will also be the country’s first-ever outdoor Derny event prior to the main men’s race.
The Derny will feature eight riders – including Clancy, Tennant and Newport professional Simon Holt – paced individually by power-assisted bikes as seen in the Keirin event held in the Velodrome during the London Olympics.
Race organiser Nick Jeggo said: “We have some top riders competing this year and, while we don’t have too many of the cyclists who won medals at London 2012, it is still a very competitive field full of top-class cyclists.
“Ed is probably the biggest name and he has ridden the course before so will certainly be one to watch.
“The women’s race will also be special as it is something we haven’t done before.
“We have seen the success of some of our girls riding in the Olympics and we are really pleased to have this event as part of the line-up.
“There’s plenty more than just bike racing on offer as well, so hopefully we can have a big crowd there.
“And who knows, perhaps Bradley Wiggins will come and support his wife.”
Other well-know riders competing include defending champion Ian Wilkinson, former national criterium champion Graham Briggs and regular Tour Series winner Kristian House in the men’s race.
The rider presentations will be under way from 6.30pm before the women’s race starts proceedings at 7pm. The Derny event will take place at about 8pm with men’s race due to start at 8.30pm. The prize ceremony concludes the evening at 9.45pm.