Road: Victories for Zechmann and Fitchew in ELV Series

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Location: Redbridge circuit, Ilford, Essex
Event: 11 January 2014
Report: Graham Galvin and Jack Steven

Large fields attended both races for round one of the East London Velo Winter Series staged at the Redbridge circuit in Essex on Saturday.

A field of 52 riders were at the start line for the 2/3 category race which featured a number of attacks.

The first serious break featured Roger Maidment (East London Velo), Johnnie Blackman (BRC) and Gunther Zechmann (London Phoenix) - the latter having punctured and had re-joined but with Junior gears. Blackman dropped back, leaving the other two to forge on, keeping an advantage for a number of laps until succumbing to the chasing pack.

Almost immediately Wayne Crombie and Sam Humpheson forced the pace up the Hoggenberg, detaching themselves but being re absorbed after a lap or so. Will Haytor (London Dynamo) was the next to chance his arm, gaining an advantage on the bunch with the irrepressible Gunther Zechmann twiddling across the gap. These two soon formed a solid pact, with a lead of over 30 seconds at the bunch at one point.

With three to go a couple of riders didn't want to wait for the sprint, with only Joel Natale (Dulwich Paragon) managing to fully escape the clutches of the Peleton. Meanwhile, Zechmann confirmed his status as strongest rider in the race, putting a dig in as the bell rang and detaching Haytor.

Rounding the final corner up to the finish it was the lone figure of Zechmann who took the chequered flag, with Natale powering past the fading Haytor just in sight of the line as he held on to third with a rampant bunch snapping at his heels.

There was another big field of over 40 riders lined up for the fourth category race.

A bright sunny day was balanced out by a stiff, cold breeze blowing riders in the face as they scaled the Hoggenberg on each lap.

The conditions soon told with the selections being made from the back on each lap, thinning the field significantly as the hour long race progressed. In the end just 10 riders remained in what was left of the bunch, neatly divvying up the points between them.

Cleverly, Jason Fitchew (Ford CC) took a chance and jumped early forging a gap at the foot of the Hoggenberg as other riders hesitated. Straining every sinew, Jason held off a fast closing bunch with Chris Thomas winning the kick from Pete Dyson (both unattached).


2/3 Cat:

1 Gunther Zechmann London Phoenix

2 Joel Natale Dulwich

3 Will Hayter London Dynamo

4 Luke Merrilees Wyndymilla

5 Colin Bailey North Road CC

6 Jack Finch PMR

7 Rhys Keepence Dulwich

8 James Freeman Dulwich

9 Patrick Martin Wyndymilla

10 Iain Palmer Twickenham

11 Adam Capes Finchley

12 Frank Rowlins North Road CC

13 Sam Homphenson LMNH

14 Simon Bromley London Dynamo

15 Daniel Maynard Welwyn Wheelers

16 Charles Pearson Private Member

17 Michael Williams Dulwich

18 Wayne Van Ry Big Foot

19 Kieran Direer Amersham

20 Stuart Clapp Vicious Velo

21 Oliver Craig London Dynamo

22 Chris Herring ELV

23 Steve James High Wycombe CC

24 Jordan Mooney Welwyn Wheelers

25 Richard Price London Phoenix

26 Leo Lerner VO2 Development Team

27 Phil Hargreaves VC Norwich

28 Matt Bridges Strada Sport

29 Wayne Crombie ELV

30 Will Hunt Norwood Paragon

31 Josh Maynard Welwyn Wheelers

32 Craig Joy PMR

33 Mark Hale VC Revolution

34 Duncan Rimmer Morden CRC

35 David Webborn London Dynamo

36 Charles Batho Dulwich

37 Roger Maidment ELV

38 Ian Goodey PMR

Fourth Cats:

1 Jason Fitchew Ford CC

2 Chris Thomas Private Member

3 Pete Dyson Private Member

4 Andrew Holmes VC Revolution

5 Christopher Hezelgrave CC Hackney

6 Jamie Batten De Laune

7 Rob Milton Hackney GT

8 Tom Haines ELV

9 Francis Fox London Dynamo

10 John Bull London Dynamo

11 Mitchell Blain London Dynamo

12 Laurence King Welwyn Wheelers

13 K Willers Run & Ride

14 Tony Collins Athlong Sport

15 D Ross Team Fig

16 C Ross Team Fig

17 Graham Rudd Private Member

18 Chris Gore Beckenham Rugby Cyclists

19 John Sellars Private Member

20 Arnav Kapur Dulwich Paragon

21 William Brassington Dulwich Paragon

22 Peter Dalton London Dynamo

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