Shropshire’s biggest cycling race – which featured Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy – attracted its biggest ever crowd, organisers said today.
More than 15,000 people lined the streets of Newport on Saturday night for the annual Newport Nocturne.
Clancy, who won a demonstration derny race said:“ It has been nice to be out riding again.”
Kiwi sprinter Rico Rogers claimed the 2012 Newport Nocturne title in thrilling fashion as the peloton reeled in an established break just metres from the line.
Penny Rowson became the first women’s Nocturne winner after a last-lap attack gave her a solo victory while two-time Olympic gold medallist Ed Clancy won the derny derby event.
More than 14,000 spectators lined the streets of Newport to watch what was a thrilling night’s action at the bi-annual race.
Node4 Giordana Racing man Rogers edged out 2010 winner Ian Wilkinson after the Endura Racing rider and Raleigh’s Bernie Sulzberger had led for much of the men’s race. Marcin Bialoblocki (Node4 Giordana Racing) took third place.
Wilkinson and Sulzberger forged clear in the early stages and held a lead which peaked at 18 seconds.
Heading into the final lap they were still clear, but the peloton – driven by Node4 and Rapha – caught them inside the last 150 metres. The pair worked well together to put daylight between themselves and the rest of the field, but the bunch refused to give up and, in a frantic finale, Rogers emerged from the pack to claim victory.
Sulzberger had the consolation of collecting the King of the Sprints title.
Rogers admitted he was confident of his form should the race end in a bunch sprint.
“I was pretty sure that no-one was going to come around me,” he said.
“It was an awesome atmosphere and it was good to see so much support.”