Location: Colchester, Essex
Event: 4 September 2011
Report: Paul Bourgoine
The Jef Schils Memorial RR orginised by InterBike RT tried to bring a little piece of Belgium to Essex, unfortunately the most authentic Belgium thing was the weather after only the first lap, it began to pour down.
Torrential conditions during the race
The race was held on a 19.5km circuit and a distance of 136km. The race stayed together for the first few laps and the heavy rain contributed to a few nervous crashes and plenty of punctures.
The race was spiced up by a sprint competition with points available on each lap. This seemed to keep the race together for a while, until with four laps to go Flavio Zappi (Zappis Cycling Club) and Dave Nicholls (Wielerteam Van Eyck) broke away from the peloton. With three laps to go Zappi and Nicholls were still clear but between them and the bunch were Andy Lyons (Twenty 3C Orbea) and Mike Wragg (Python RT).
With two laps to go the field was all together with Nicholls still topping up his sprint points tally. On the final lap Jake Hales (Team Corley/Alpha RC) and Oliver Davies (Dinnington RC) pulled out a 15 second gap from a group of about 15 riders that contained a lot of the favourites who had a 30 second gap on the bunch, most riders in the main peloton looked like they wanted it to all be over covered in (Belgium Toothpaste) Essex Toothpaste, the name the Belgium's give to the muck that's thrown up from the roads on a rainy days in Flanders.
In the sprint Belgium rider Joeri Bueken (Profel) was just beaten into second place by the prolific Jason White (Cycle Premier) with Dave Nicholls (Wielerteam Van Eyck) in third place. Dave Nicholls was rewarded for his constancy by picking up the GES Hotspot Sprint prize.
Jason White picked up some more valuable points in his quest to become number one in the National Rankings. Both Patrick Schils (Velo Schils-Inter Bike) (Jef's son) and Dominic Schils (Wielerteam Van Eyck) (Jef's grandson) both raced and put in a fantastic effort in what must have been quite an emotional race for them.
This was a fantastic event that would have made Jef proud and it was a fitting tribute to his memory, and thanks to the entire Belgium contingent for bringing a piece of Belgium to Essex including the weather.
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.