Great results all round this week for Shutt Ridley RT in the prestigious Mr Porter London Nocturne.
The Nocturne is a city centre closed road race featuring many categories and racing styles including Penny Farthings, Santander Bikes and fixed gear bikes all alongside the more traditional circuit races. Shutt sent three riders to this race, they were: Phil O'Connor racing the Masters Criterium, Gareth Harvey racing the Open Criterium and Maxine Filby racing the Elite Womens Criterium.
Harvey raced first in a huge field of 83 riders. Things went wrong for Harvey almost immediately as despite arriving at the holding pen 20mins early for his race Harvey found himself behind almost 60 riders. The Open Criterium is only 30mins and was always going to be very fast from the start. Sure enough the flag dropped and the enormous group stretched out into one long line of riders.
Harvey worked hard to move up and bridged more and more gaps as the stronger, faster riders forced the pace more and more. Eventually Harvey was rewarded by making a very select front group of 13 riders.
The technical sections of the course suited Harvey well and moving into the final two laps he had a good position. Then as the last lap started the lead group lapped another group of 10 riders. The leaders then used this round the tighter corners to attack and stretch out the lead group. It meant that Harvey fell back to the rear of the group but kicked hard in the sprint to come through for a fantastic 8th place.
Next up was O'Connor in a Masters field of 41 riders. Again the start for the Shutt Ridley RT rider was not ideal as riders in front struggled to clip into their pedals. Again O'Connor had to work hard in the first ten minutes just stay at the head of the race. By the time he'd made it up there four strong riders had gone clear. No-one wanted to chase in the group behind and O'Connor rolled through with them unaware that anyone was away. Last lap and O'Connor held a reasonable position in the group and kicked in for what turned out to be 10th place on the night.
Finally in the Womens Elite race Shutt Ridley RT rider Maxine Filby lined up with the UKs best racers. No such starting problems for the unshakeable Filby and she settled down in the group. Then former Elite National Champion Louise Haywood-Mah attacked hard and broke away. As pre-race favourite no-one was surprised and no-one was able to close her down. Filby had other ideas and kicked off in pursuit, spending a lap out front but not closing on Haywood-Mah, Filby decided to save herself for the sprint and sat up to re-join the bunch.
It was a good job she did too as out of the final corner Filby had to dig deep to turn a massive gear and wind up to speed. Flying up the home straight Filby passed riders left and right and finished in an incredible 7th place in a field full of the best female rider in the country. A truly spectacular performance.