Road: Zappi Wins Virgin Active RR


Location: Cranfield University, Bedfordshire
Event: 27 August 2011
Report: Snowdon Sports

Former Continental pro Flavio Zappi showed his class when he powered to victory at the end of the Virgin Active Road Race, supported by Mavic and run off on a 50-mile course based around Cranfield University in Bedfordshire on Saturday.

Riding for his Team Zappi outfit, Flavio was part of a seven rider break which had attacked the 70-strong bunch with seven laps remaining, but on the final circuit he attacked with 200 metres to go and held a good gap over his rivals to secure victory.

The pace was very high from the start as a prime had been placed on the first lap to create a fast start to the race. This caused a very aggressive start to the race and the field was soon strung out with four riders being dropped on the first drag up the climb towards the airfield.

Liam Stones (45 Road Club) was a clear winner of the Mavic-sponsored prime.

Attacks were coming thick and fast with numerous breakaway attempts gaining no more than 10 seconds, although Team Zappi managed to place two riders in a break that included Gavin Rumbles (CC Luton) and Flavio Zappi.

The Prime on Lap 13 was taken by Rumbles and caused a reaction in the bunch. Mark Williams was in fine form and was dragging the move back aided by his brother Nigel and the members of 45 Road Club.

Prime 3 was again taken by the fast finishing Liam Stones., and the fantastic prize list and the promise of a six month gym membership at Virgin Health Club was causing the pace to be high.

A group of seven riders escaped with seven laps remaining and it was a mixture of experience that gelled and worked in an organised fashion, Williams (Python) Zappi (Team Zappi) Littlechild (London Dynamo) Coleman (Anders Horizon), Prior (Team Zappi) Rudgoad (Birmingham University) Alexander (Cheltenham & County CC) all contributed during the next few laps.

The main field was very slow to react and the lead was fast approaching 1:30 with three laps remaining.

45 Road Club riders and John Peters (CC Luton) came to the front but the gap was growing. With two laps to go the elastic broke and a group of six riders tried in vain to catch the leaders, included in this group
Were Ian Franklin (PCH) and the local rider Jack Waller (Team Corley).

At the bell the lead group had a well established advantage, and Zappi went alone from over 200 metres out, holding the rest of the break with a fine ride. Littlechild and Coleman were split by a bike length. Jack Waller just edged Franklin in a tight finish for eighth place.


1 Flavio Zappi (Team Zappi) 2:02:00
2 Harry Littlechild (London Dynamo)
3 Doug Coleman (Anders TMG Horizon)
4 Mark Williams (Python RT)
5 Roger Prior (Team Zappi)
6 William Rudgoard (Birmingham University)
7 Ian Alexander (Cheltenham & County CC)
8 Jack Waller (Team Corley Cycles) @2:00
9 Ian Franklin (PCH UK Racing Team)
10 Liam Stones (45 Road Club) all @ same time

Prime 1: Liam Stones (45 Road Club).
Prime 2: (Gavin Rumbles (CC Luton).
Prime 3: Liam Stones (45 Road Club).
Aggressive Rider Award: Mark Williams (Python RT).

British Cycling would like to thank the organising team, officials and everyone else who helped promote this event. Our sport could not exist without the hundreds of people, many of them unpaid volunteers, who put in many hours of hard work running events, activities and clubs.