Clancy excited by challenge of WorldTour riders

01 June 2017
Team Sky and Cannondale Drapac riders on Rapha Nocturne startlist

A winner in the race two years ago, JLT Condor’s Ed Clancy cannot wait to take on the UCI WorldTour riders around the streets of the capital later this month.

The Rapha Nocturne has been the preserve of the British UCI teams throughout its ten year history, barring a two-year spell in 2011 and 2012 where Team Sky dominated the race.

In the four years since then Team Raleigh, Madison Genesis and Clancy’s own JLT Condor team have claimed the victory, and the three-time Olympic champion admits he learned from those Team Sky successes.

The victors, Alex Dowsett and Ian Stannard, are among two of the strongest solo riders in the WorldTour peloton and Clancy has got a simple tactic to stop any WorldTour riders matching their success in 2017.

“We always love it when WorldTour riders come and join the fun. As you’d expect, sometimes they’re brilliant,” he said.

“Alex Dowsett and Ian Stannard have both won the Nocturne before. When those guys both turn up and are on form and are rested, then they make it look easy.

“But on the flip side, you sometimes see them off the back of a hard race, or if you see a climber in a crit then you realise that it is a different thing.

“Of the guys that can ride well on their own, Stannard and Dowsett are two of the very, very, best in the world.

“Tactically, that was a mistake on the part of the domestic riders the years they won it, letting those guys get away.”

Team Sky will be represented in the 2017 field by neopro Tao Geoghegan Hart, while fellow WorldTour team Cannondale Drapac are sending Will Clarke and Wouter Wippert to race the Nocturne.

And Clancy is hoping he, and his colleagues, will not let lightning strike a third time.

“Perhaps we looked at them and thought ok, they’re on their own, with no teammates around, they’ll come back, but you have to learn from that,” he added.

“You don’t let Alex Dowsett up the road because they’re not going to come back, the same with Stannard.

“So it’s great to have some WorldTour riders coming here again, but hopefully they won’t just ride off into the distance.”