Info for Riders
All riders and their supporters MUST park at Dukes Farm. There will be no parking at HQ or in the village main street. HQ car park is too small and with two village churches busy on Sundays, churchgoers do need a place to park which is the main street. Your polite compliance will go a long way to ensure local backing of the event in the future.
|Date||Start||Race name||Classification||Band||Rider Cat||Race length|
|6/04/14||09:30||2/3/4||Regional A||Band 3||2nd, 3rd, 4th||95km / 59 miles|
Enter a Race
|Sun 06/04/14||09:30||Regional A||Band 3||2nd, 3rd, 4th|
Sun 06/04/14 - 09:30
Classification: Regional A
Band: Band 3
Rider Cat: 2nd, 3rd, 4th
Posted 08/04/2014 - Michael Rostoft
Chelmer Road Race 6 April 2014
As rule of thumb, at least 10% of the main field of a road race will not show up at race day on any given day. So here we were on a forecast rainy day in the small village of Roxwell in Essex and every rider apart from a single one showed up for the day's menu of wet racing. As organiser I was very surprised and delighted. Less delighted were the seven reserves and two entries on the line of whom only two got a ride.
The race started in relatively mild temperatures with a fresh breeze and a light steady rain. As soon as the race was de-neutralised, a hammer of some weight went down for most of the 15 miles long first lap. It had immediate repercussions on some of less experienced but hopeful riders at the back of the peloton who were shelled out before the end of the lap.
As the race continued on the second lap, a handful of riders formed a break. They were pressing on hard to get away, so hard, in fact, that having passed through Leaden Roding and approaching the left turn onto B184 with their heads down in full on race mode, they missed the marshalled turning and ploughed on straight ahead. The small group's last rider glanced back to gauge the gap just in time to see the bunch swing left and out of sight. The gap had indeed grown although not in the break's favour. The unfortunate ones eventually managed to get back to the main group.
Somewhere along the next 10 miles before reaching Roxwell, home of the race HQ, a break got away consisting of Gunter Zechman (London Phoenix), Andy Lyons (Richardsons-Trek RT), Daniel Young (Glendene) and Vince Divine (Finchley RT). The chase was now on in earnest, nobody wanting to give riders of Lyons' or Zechman's calibre any slack at all. The first four race positions could be gone before they blinked. Zechman in particular looked like a firm bet for a win being the rider who has gained the most BC points this season of all the 155 initial race entrants.
The chasers were perhaps hampered by a great deal of punctures: At least twelve and still counting. A few crashes here and there, mainly around Birds Green, took its toll too. Anyone familiar with the area will know how worn the road surface is on that particular section, how the chippings and tar have become tar only in places. The local residents have been trying have it properly resurfaced for years. With the light rain, some spots reportedly turned into an ice rink and two crashes happened involving, luckily, only a few riders at a time.
Then the galloping main bunch turned the very sharp lefthander near Fyfield for the third and penultimate time and accelerated towards Birds Green still smelling the scent of the small break hanging in the now stiller and dryer air. They were never much more than a minute away. As so often, it is uncertain what happened next but it seems to have been a combination of a touch of wheels and slippery conditions. Suddenly, a rider slid sideways across the lane starting a domino effect which ended up bringing down about 18 riders, close to half of the chasing pack at that point. 15 quickly got up and scampered on but three needed some seeing to - one of which had disappeared into the ditch. When asked if he might have broken any bones he nodded and mentioned his shoulder. On second thought, he grasped his arm and gave it firm push upwards into its socket with a bone chilling clunk coming from the shoulder joint as he did so. "Nah, I'm alright. It was only dislocated".
For your information, this stretch of road is the exact same route that the Tour de France will follow later this year. An unnamed source claims that this road has now, finally, been put down for repairs, perhaps even resurfacing, before the arrival of the TdF on Monday 7 July later this year. In fact, road signs have been put up to say that work will commence tomorrow. If only they had commenced two weeks ago. On the bright side, as organiser, I am very grateful that works did not start this week! The local Highways office did read the e-mail I sent them about the date of the Chelmer Road Race. Thanks.
The luckless riders caught up in one of the biggest crashes for a long time in a local race on a dead straight road gave chase until they got within sight of race HQ when they decided enough was enough and that tending to their numerous bump and grazes would be a healthier option. A quiet HQ was awakened from its slumber.
Meanwhile, the remaining chasers did not want to throw in the towel but with one lap to go the gap remained a stubborn one minute. The break who had avoided both crashes and punctures powered on and the first three riders to reach the 1km sign were Divine, Lyons and Zechman. Now followed a test of whom the fastest sprinter of three self-confessed non-sprinters would be with Andy Lyons (Richardsons-Trek RT) coming out on top followed by Vince Divine (Finchley RT) then Gunther Zechman (London Phoenix CC). 30 seconds later Daniel Young (Glendene) arrived to take fourth place and highest placed 3rd cat. rider in one go, followed be Sean Dines (CC Luton) and less than a minute later the much reduced peloton crossed the line in practically single file. The Finish Judge was pleased.
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