WXCRL Martyrs Road Race 2010
Story posted April 6, 2010; by Graham Robins
Successive wins for Stockdale
For the second year running, the Qoroz rider Ben Stockdale took the victory spoils at the Wessex Cycle Racing Leagues’ Martyrs race in the Dorset lanes. Before the start of the event, during the warm-up, Ben said that he was looking forward to the race as he had won here last year and was looking forward to successfully defending his title.
The race headquarters was in Moreton with the race centred on the ‘Puddle’ villages, which with the amount of standing water on the course, was an apt venue for this year’s race. Whilst four inches of water covered the course at one point following many days of heavy rain in the area, the race itself was bathed in sunshine with only a very cold wind hampering the riders on sections of the course.
As the race left the headquarters and made its way through Alfpuddle and onto the climb towards the finish line at the top of the road leading to Tolpuddle, the riders knew they had another five more ascents of this climb before the finish. With the first few laps going by without incident, it wasn’t until halfway round the second lap that a small break formed.
Three riders opened up a small gap over the chasing bunch but then found they couldn’t seem to extend that lead and at one point, it looked like the bunch would pull them back. Then, on the climb just after the finish, the three riders, Blake Pond (Southforkracing.co.uk), Tim Dunford (Torq Performance) and eventual winner Ben Stockdale (Team Qoroz) managed to extend the gap beyond 30 seconds and soon set about stretching that to over 1 minute 50 seconds at one point.
Tim Alliban (Revo Racing) tried to get across the gap but ended up in no man’s land and was soon picked up by the bunch who now seemed to realise they had a chance of pulling the escapees back. With two laps to go, the three leaders were working well but the chasing group were eating into their advantage and the gap soon tumbled to just over 50 seconds.
Then, on the last lap, the gap fell further to just over 35 seconds which is when Stockdale decided to try and go it alone. It wasn’t until a small bridge with about a mile to the finish, that Ben got a gap and Tim Dunford, who had by now run out of legs, dropped back.
The win it seemed would be contested by Blake and Ben but as the two came into view on the climb, Ben 'smashed it' to take the win with plenty of time for a solo celebration over the line. After the race, Ben said it had been an awesome result for the team and he was already really looking forward to defending it again next year.
Riders splish-splashing their way round the course. Photo by Graham Robins.
1. Ben Stockdale Team Qoroz
2. Blake Pond Southforkracing.co.uk @11 secs
3. Ian Rees Willer/ Bigmaggys/ Prendas
4. Tom Stockdale Team Qoroz
5. Gary Chambers Southforkracing.co.uk
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