Race organiser Malcolm Hargreaves has sent us this preview of the 31st Jock Wadley Memorial road race which takes place on Sunday 10th March 2013, starting from Alderman Blaxill School at 10am:
The riders face the usual 12 laps of the Layer de la Haye - Layer Breton reservoir course before finishing outside Layer Waterworks after 132 kilometres.
“Boyer Planning” a Colchester based company have stepped in with sponsorship this year after disappointing responses from a number of other local businesses who might have made the most of the surge in popularity of cycle racing following the exploits of Bradley Wiggins and co.
80 of the country’s leading riders take the start although 120 plus entries were received for what has become an English semi classic road race. The near 7 mile reservoir circuit is by no means considered a tough one; but throw in the usual south westerly wind and the low temperatures of early March together produce a battle of the strongest.
Olympic track gold medallist Ed Clancy MBE leads the charge for the Rapha Condor team although other members are perhaps more fancied for the Wadley. They include Kristian House who won the King of the Mountains competition in the Tour of Britain last year and Edward Laverack a nineteen year old Welshman who just might emulate the performance of Luke Rowe who won the race in 2008 on his 18th birthday and now rides for the Sky team.
The Staffordshire based “Node 4” team have 4 fancied riders following numerous changes during the winter including the loss of 2011 Wadley winner (And second last year) Marcin Bialoblocki. He does not ride this time and is assumed to be racing abroad.
Team Raleigh have six riders lead by Graham Briggs from Yorkshire who won the Colchester round of the “Tour Series” town centre races in June 2012. Local interest is in Russell Hampton from Pitsea who took a year out in 2011 but came back to ride very strongly in the Tour of Britain last year as indeed he did in 2010. Even more local is Dominic Schils from Stanway who spends most of the year racing in Belgium while mum and dad run the cycle shop at Marks Tey. He has had a fifth place 2 years ago so cannot be ruled out of the podium places.
The winner receives £125.00 plus a trophy with smaller awards down to 20th place. There will be bonus prizes for selected riders this year in the form of a book written by Adrian Bell “From the Pen of J B Wadley”.
Let’s not forget the race is in memory of the first English cycling journalist to follow the Tour de France in the 1950’s. A member of the Colchester Rovers Jock moved to Twickenham later in life and worked for the Daily Telegraph.
Work is taking place to deal with potholes on the course so it should be all systems go on Sunday 10th.