So that was the London Nocturne and I hope the fans who were there in their thousands around the city of London or who watched it on TV enjoyed it because I did.
“Enjoyed” might be stretching the dictionary definition of the word a little. If I had to sum up what it feels like to ride the Nocturne, it’s like the last 5km of an important sprint road race, but it lasts for a full hour instead of just 5km.
If you saw that YouTube video recently from the Dauphine of Katusha and Cofidis scrapping it out, head butting in a sprint finish at the Dauphine, well that’s what the Nocturne is like - for a full hour.
But I love it. That and the Newport Nocturne, which is the original Nocturne, are two of the highlights on the British calendar in terms of publicity, exposure and entertainment and all the domestic lads, plus lots of the Pro Tour guys, love it too.
First off, I took part in a fun event, racing Brompton folding bikes which was a learning experience to say the least. Part of the event is actually unfolding your bike on the start line and, by the time I’d worked out how to do that, not only was my seat post loose, which meant I couldn’t really sit on the saddle, but three-quarters of the field were already underway.
I think I annoyed a few people by “dive bombing” them - cutting them up - though everybody saw the funny side when they knew it was me and I explained that is Tour Series rules … You’re allowed to dive bomb opponents, as long as you shout “Dive bomb” while you’re doing it.
I should know. I was on the receiving end of a fair amount of that at the end of the proper Nocturne race later in the night.
It was a really good race too. I had thought about making a move in a lap or two’s time when Owain Doull, my Team WIGGINS team mate, got in a great break with Chris Lawless from JLT-Condor so after that it was just a case of sitting up and marking any moves in the group behind while those two slugged it out.
Chris just won a great sprint between the two of them and I got worked over by three other JLT-Condor lads, including my good mate Ed Clancy, who dive bombed me - and yes, he shouted “dive bomb” - pinned me against a barrier and made sure I lost all my speed in the sprint for third.
But I finished fifth which was okay although the race reminded me just how different these Tour Series races are to most other things. I always forget how fast you have to corner and how much of a so-and-so you have to be in these races to look after yourself and assert your position.
I didn’t feel like I had much “sparkle” in my legs that night - which was probably no surprise as we’d done our first gym session in a while the day before as part of our track training.
The track is still our focus at the minute although I’ve been spending time away from cycling on other important projects, like playing my new collection of EA games on my PlayStation and helping my house mate Philip Hindes in his quest to become a social media superstar.
Phil, as you’ll all know, is a team sprint Olympic champ from London and is currently the fastest man one in the world - he’s unbelievable at what he does. He also has a room in my house in Wilmslow and, having said all those nice things about him, I can describe what he’s like as a house mate - messy and lazy!
Yesterday he annoyed me when he used the tumble dryer to dry his washing when it was 30 degrees outside. When I asked him why, he said “Because it’s too much effort to hang it up … marginal gains!”
He’s also the only person I know who has got food poisoning from microwave meals! He was telling me yesterday that he was cooking his chicken “rare to medium-rare … just the way I like it!”
He’s also grumpy, and likes his space when people come round but then, when he’s in the mood for company, he’s like a big puppy. I like to joke my partner Lauren looks after our two puppies while I’ve got a big puppy to look after at home in Phil.
But, really, he’s a good lad and a great laugh and the banter between us is pretty relentless. I like to take the mickey out of his accent because he was born and raised in Germany and sounds a bit like Borat when he speaks.
At the moment, he’s obsessed with becoming a star in the world of video blogging and I told him I’d try and raise awareness. So, enjoy these video blogs from “Fifi” - as I like to call him, for reasons I can’t remember - and let him know what you think of them.