Chilton and Side crowned National Circuit Series winners in Newark

Chilton and Side crowned National Circuit Series winners in Newark


Ben Chilton and Corinne Side secured National Circuit Series titles after a thrilling final round in Newark, where Robyn Clay and Alec Briggs were the winners on the night.

Women’s race

Robyn Clay powered to the line at the Schwalbe Newark Grand Prix ahead of last year’s series champion Emma Jeffers, on a night that saw her Pro-Noctis-Heidi Kjeldsen-200 Degrees Coffee team take the win on the night, the individual series and the team series title.

The Pro-Noctis rider was coy about her chances before the race, but she bided her time, helping the team to cover the early moves before unleashing a devastating sprint in the final metres to take the win.

The flag dropped and the bunch launched away from the start line, with riders jumping at the opportunity to push the pace on a technical and challenging circuit. Emma Jeffers was the first to make her move, the DAS-Handsling rider knowing what it takes to win on this course having taken the victory here in 2022.

A lull in the pace brought the combined forces of Pro Noctis and DAS-Handsling to the front, and it seemed that we would be treated to a similar masterclass to the last round of the series in Sheffield. However, Emily Proud (Le Col RT) quickly came to the front and set a punishing pace for the next few laps.

Proud’s effort split the peloton and a select group formed at the front of the race. They quickly gained an advantage of a few seconds, but the momentum slowly ebbed out of Proud’s effort and the group swelled to over 20 riders once again.

Robyn Clay wins the 2023 Newark Grand Prix

With a quarter of the race remaining, Isabel Darvill (Team Spectra Cannondale) came to the front of the race, accelerating alongside Ellen McDermott (Team Boompods). Despite the infernal pace, nothing could break clear of the stranglehold that DAS-Handsling and Pro-Noctis-Heidi Kjeldsen-200 Degrees Coffee had on the front of the bunch.

Coming into the final few laps, those two teams began to lift the pace even further as their sprint trains positioned themselves for what seemed like an inevitable bunch gallop. 

However, with one lap to go, disaster struck for DAS-Handsling as they turned into the finishing straight. The 2022 National Road Series champion, Sammie Stuart, lost traction and fell, sliding across the flagstones and leaving Emma Jeffers without a key part of her lead-out.

Pro-Noctis swiftly moved to the front as the odds swung in their favour and they held their formation through the technical finale. Robyn Clay accelerated in before the last corner and crossed the line with her arms aloft, beating Emma Jeffers and Isabel Darvill in a nail-biting sprint.

Clay’s teammates, Jo Tindley and Corinne Side, finished in fourth and fifth respectively, securing the individual series title for Side and the overall team prize.

Corinne Side, winner of the 2023 National Circuit Series, on the podium

Men’s race

Alec Briggs (TEKKERZ CC) took his first-ever National Circuit Series round victory ahead of a depleted front group at the end of the All About Desserts Newark Grand Prix.

Briggs sprinted to the win from a 14-rider group that stayed together in spite of an aggressive race that was largely shaped by a battle between Ben Chilton (Ribble Collective) and Matt Fox (Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli) for the overall series title.

Chilton led the series by just nine points coming into the race, so a bad result on the night would have seen Fox take the honours. The Wheelbase riders knew this and they were active early on, launching moves in an attempt to isolate the Ribble Collective rider.

Callum Laborde (Wheelbase Cabtech Castelli) was an early aggressor, leading the bunch in the first few laps alongside Josh Price (ROKiT-SRCT) and Toby Barnes (Dolan Ellesse), but the technical course meant that they struggled to break away from the bunch. 

A few laps later, Tim Shoreman led the Wheelbase team through the finishing straight with a long line of riders on his wheel, with his win in Colne a few days prior proving that he was in good form for the series finale.

Alec Briggs, winner of the 2023 Newark Grand Prix

At the halfway point, another podium finisher from Colne hit the front. Dan Barnes (Team Spectra Cannondale) led Briggs, Isaac Mundy and Ben Chilton. A hard counter by Chilton briefly pulled three Wheelbase riders to the front in response, but they were wise to the danger that Chilton posed when given more than a few metres’ advantage.

Matt Fox seized his opportunity to attack, drawing out a response from Chilton, but it seemed that nothing could break the bunch’s hold on the race. 

With three laps to go, the riders at the front of the depleted bunch began to set themselves up for the sprint. George Kimber of Embark Spirit BSS led the race, but his time there was short-lived as the battle for the series unfolded behind.

Mundy accelerated hard, leading into the final lap with Alec Briggs just behind, while Fox was sitting in fourth with Chilton locked onto his wheel.

With four corners to go, Alec Briggs came around Mundy, battling to hold off the fast-moving duo of Fox and Mundy, but he carried his speed through the last corner with enough time to sit up and savour the win.

Matt Fox of Wheelbase CabTech Castelli took a close second ahead of Isaac Mundy. Behind, Chilton sprinted to fifth and, after a few nervous seconds, it was clear he had done enough to take the overall series title, with the Wheelbase CabTech Castelli team cruising to the team title.

Ben Chilton, winner of the 2023 National Circuit Series, on the podium


Women - Round

  1. Robyn Clay (Pro-Noctis-Heidi Kjeldsen-200 Degrees Coffee)
  2. Emma Jeffers (DAS-Handsling)
  3. Isabel Darvill (Team Spectra Cannondale)

Women - Series

  1. Corinne Side (Pro-Noctis-Heidi Kjeldsen-200 Degrees Coffee)
  2. Jo Tindley (Pro-Noctis-Heidi Kjeldsen-200 Degrees Coffee)
  3. Isabel Darvill (Team Spectra Cannondale)

Men - Round

  1. Alec Briggs (TEKKERZ CC)
  2. Matthew Fox (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli)
  3. Isaac Mundy

Men - Series

  1. Ben Chilton (Ribble Collective)
  2. Matthew Fox (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli)
  3. Callum Laborde (Wheelbase CabTech Castelli)