The Abberton Road Race
Location: Colchester, Essex
Event: 3 June 2012
Report: Snowdon Sports
Continuing his swift rise through the ranks, Billy-Joe Whenman (Team Hope Factory Racing) added a first open road race win to his string of closed circuit victories in Colchester Rovers CC’s 115-kilometre Abberton Road Race in Essex.
The Gravesend 23-year-old, whose win sealed a move up to first category in his first full season on the road, finished well clear of Wayne Crombie (East London Velo) – winner of his own club’s open road race a week earlier – and Scott Cousins (Maldon & District CC) in a five-up sprint after ten wet and windy laps of the Abberton circuit.
The winning move came as early as the first lap with the leading trio going clear alongwith Douglas Coleman (CC Luton) and Malcolm Smith (St Ives CC). The organisers had invested in photo-finish equipment in anticipation of a bunch finish, but it wasn’t required as the five stayed well away until sprinting it out in what proved to be a fast uphill finish on a new road at Abberton Reservoir used for the first time.
Whenman, who kicked with 350 metres to go and was five lengths clear of Crombie at the line, admitted that he hadn’t felt good all day. “I’ve been doing the Tour Series and all the travelling has taken it out of my legs,” he said.
“But I got in the break, we were working really well, and I was good enough for the sprint.
“The Tour Series has been quite a big learning curve. It’s my first year of doing the road full-time instead of mountain biking, after six years of podium places in that it was time for a change, and I’m really enjoying it now.”
1 Billy-Joe Wheman (Hope Factory Racing) 2:54:25
2 Wayne Crombie (East London Velo)
3 Scott Cousins (Maldon & District CC)
4 Douglas Coleman (CC Luton)
5 Malcolm Smith (St Ives CC) all same time
6 Patrick Schils (Velo Schils Interbike) @ 1:10
7 Gonzalo Rodriguez (East London Velo) @ 1:11
8 Tim Butt (Maldon & District CC) @ 3:08
9 Basil Moss (Cambridge CC) @ 3:36
10 Lee Desborough (St Ives CC) @ 3:39
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.