Over 120 Pro cyclists will descend on Shropshire’s historic town of Newport in August for the Newport Nocturne the UK’s original floodlit cycle race.
The event returns on Saturday 18th August thanks to support from Telford & Wrekin Council’s tourism initiative – Discover Telford Visit Shropshire and Newport Town Council.
Spectators will be able to see Pro cyclists compete on the iconic cobbled streets of Newport, racing through the evening, under floodlights, the unique market town will play host to a great day out, combining the best of pro cycle racing, live music, street entertainment, the attraction of market town shopping and dining as well as some brand new event features to be announced in the coming months.
The Newport Nocturne was established in 1989 and is the original and first night time cycle race in the UK. The event attracts as many as 10,000 visitors, with spectators lining the streets to watch the best of the amateur scene and some of the UK’s top pros compete in this iconic cycling event.
Organiser Nick Jeggo, who alongside his wife Diane succeeded his late father Mick in staging the event, is thrilled to see the race back on the cobbles of Newport, “We’re delighted to be able to bring the Nocturne back after a four-year break. We are very grateful to have the funding and support of the DEFRA Rural Tourism Growth Fund secured by Telford & Wrekin Council, plus the generous sponsorship and practical support of Newport Town Council.
Telford and Wrekin Council have had real foresight in helping to bring this exciting event back, not only as a great spectacle and cultural attraction but also seeing its potential to attract thousands of visitors.”
Rae Evans Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member with responsibility for tourism said: “The Council is delighted to have helped to bring this spectacular sporting event back to one of our historic borough towns with this financial support. This is a landmark year for our borough as we celebrate Telford’s 50th anniversary and the Newport Nocturne will be a fabulous addition to the events for visitors and residents to help mark Telford 50. The timing of its return could not be better, and we are very pleased to support this year’s activities.”
The Newport Nocturne is a Criterium Race (Crit) that is ridden over a short/closed circuit in the centre of town. Based upon a 1.2 mile circuit the riders in each race lap the town for the duration of approx. 50 minutes plus 5 laps. With competitors riding multiple circuits at high speed and very close to the event spectators, the event creates an amazing atmosphere and spectacle for everyone! And this year the event expands to create a festival of cycling for visitors. And Discover Telford and Visit Shropshire team will be launching a range of Day, Stay and Weekend packages so that visitors can extend their stay and explore a little more of this gem of English tourism.
Nicola Juniper, three times Elite National Road Race Champion is one of the pro riders looking forward to competing in Newport, “It’s a circuit that has everything you could hope for; it’s fast, technical and exciting and I know it’s going to be a fantastic event.” The 2017 National Team Pursuit Champion Jacob Tipper is another rider who is a huge fan of the race, “The Nocturne is a unique stand-alone race, unlike anything else on the calendar. For me, it epitomises what a circuit race should be like.”
Mayor of Newport Lyn Fowler is also leading the wave of support following the news that the race was due to return – a return that the town hopes will be great news for its local businesses as thousands of visitors flock to enjoy the event. Mayor Fowler acknowledged the role the Jeggo family have played over the years in The Newport Nocturne, “The Jeggo family, first Mick and now Nick and Diane, have put Newport on the map with the original floodlit cycle race in the UK held right here on the streets of Newport. It’s their hard work and dedication that makes the Nocturne possible and the event brings the town recognition and tourists in their thousands…”
Nick Jeggo adds “The support from the local community as news of the event returning to Newport has been fantastic. Local people are fully invested in making this a night to remember and we are excited at some of the big-name sponsors who are coming on board and would be excited to hear from brands and businesses who would like to get involved. The Newport Nocturne is a chance to experience top class cycle racing in a unique environment. Experience the beautiful and historical town of Newport like never before”!
The return of the event is supported by Telford & Wrekin Council’s successful DEFRA Rural Tourism Growth funding bid. The funding is provided to support the development of a rural event and attract more visitors to stay in the area.
Visitors to the event in 2018 can expect even more than in previous years, with an enhanced event programme and the launch of a range of weekend breaks for those visitors wanting to stay a little longer in a region famous for outdoor adventure.