Toachim House 2 Day Stage Race win for Roy Chamberlain
Monday, April 15, 2013
The three stage, 2 day, race started at the Cyclopark in Gravesend, Kent at 11am on Saturday. The first stage; a 10 mile time trial around the Cyclopark circuit where TT bikes were allowed which gave way to much debate as to whether it was fair.
Above: Simon Wilson on his way to take the time trial stage win in a time of 17:49.
As the TT was round a circuit with quite a few twists and turns and high winds, the riders with TT bikes might not have had it all their own way. As the early riders got underway on the 5 lap circuit, again something of debate as it seemed not everyone could count to five… or rather that quite a few decided 6 would be a better number! Simon Wilson (Team Corley Cycles) was fourth off and set an early lead of 17:49, a time that would not be beaten on the day.
Elliott Porter (Rapha Condor JLT) was one of the last to head out on the circuit and came the closest to the Corley rider’s time, clocking a 17:57 while Robert Moore (London Phoenix CC) rounded out the top 3 with a time of 17:59.
The next stage, a 90 minute circuit race, started at 2pm so riders were frantically stuffing pasta and Panini’s down in between to ensure their carbohydrate stores were topped up. With eleven different teams and clubs represented in the top twenty riders, all within a minute of the leader, it was always going to be a fast paced circuit. Jake Martin (Kingsnorth International) seemed like he had a point to prove and early on made the attack that would shape the race.
Simon Wilson saw the danger and got up to his wheel along with Jamie Pine (Pedal Heaven RT) and Darren Barclay (Arctic Premier RT). On the next lap, a handful of other riders managed to bridge across to the leading quartet. These riders included George Harper (Felt-Colbornes RT), Chris McNamara (Pedal Heaven RT), Mike Smith (Team Corley Cycles) and Robert Moore.
At around half distance, Jake attacked again gaining a sizeable gap on his own before George Harper made his way across to join him. The pair pulled out over a minute gap by the end on the chasing seven riders. At the finish Jake out kicked George to take the stage win and with it put himself in the leader’s jersey, 45 seconds ahead of Simon Wilson. Jamie Pine came across the line 3rd on the stage.
Jake taking the win on the second stage at the Cyclopark, a circuit he has won on previously.
This was a 75 mile road race, which actually turned out to be an 88 mile road race. As was bound to happen, Jake was marked at every turn of the pedals. With three teams and a couple of individuals all itching to get their hands on the £1,000 overall first prize, it was always going to be a big ask for Jake to hold onto the lead.
The Felt-Colbornes team drove it from the gun setting a high pace making it hard for anyone to attack and this lead to the inevitable casualties out the back of the bunch. Jake tried valiantly to chase down any attack that may have caused him to lose the lead and with little help this was what would eventually be his downfall.
On the second lap of the circuit, a group of four riders were just under a minute clear of the bunch. This group consisted of John Heaton-Armstrong and Alex Higham (Felt-Colbornes), Roy Chamberlain (Team Corley Cycles) and Brennan Townshend (Madison-Genesis). The race kept chopping and changing on each lap, with Alex Higham seeming the most consistent as he was in every break!
By the fifth lap, a group had formed which included most of the favourites; Simon Wilson, George Harper and Robert Moore. The person that was visibly absent was Jake Martin, who having spent all his time chasing down the attacks of his rivals had finally cracked.
In between this group and the bunch were a trio of riders including Roy Chamberlain. This group clawed their way up to the leading riders and on the last lap Alex, Roy and Jamie Caldwell (MG-Maxifuel) slipped clear of the other riders and would go on to contest the stage win.
Coming up the finish hill, Roy and Alex managed to drop Jamie, with Roy mainly thinking about the overall GC. Alex came passed Roy in the final 300 metres and took the stage convincingly. Out of all the riders, in the race it was great to see these two “mature” riders duking it out at the finish. Jamie took 3rd over the line, a very well ridden race by the MG-Maxifuel rider.
It was a nervous wait for Roy as he watched the other riders in GC contention come up the hill. After some quick working out using phones and stopwatches, the initial consensus was that Roy had done enough to take the overall win from George Harper and Robert Moore.
Back at the changing rooms this was confirmed with Roy beating George by 14 seconds. His team mate Simon had dropped back to 4th overall, 31 seconds adrift of Roy’s time. Not only did Roy win the overall GC, at 48 years old, he also took the first veteran prize! Showing that you don’t need to show an old dog new tricks (very apt considering the race is sponsored by a veterinary surgery).
Speaking to Roy after the event he had this to say: “This weekend has been great for us. It was a good team effort to get this win. We were a bit lucky that we had a couple of options with Simon being 2nd overall on the second day and with Mike also in contention, and of course myself, thankfully just off the GC radar which enabled me to get clear on the last lap.”
Of the race organisation he said: “It was nice to get the chance to ride such a well organised stage race and of course the prize money was well appreciated. I was impressed with the circuit at Cyclopark and its facilities, the next time I make a visit I’ll bring the kids.”
Ultimately though Roy attributed his and his team’s success to one thing: “If it wasn’t for the bottomless chips I had with my mixed grill the night before, the result would have been very different.”
The team manager at Corley Cycles (it says so on her licence she says), Sarah Hooper, said of his win “I can say that it was an excellent weekend for the four riders. I made an early prediction that Simon would win the TT and know how cunning Roy can be, but for him to clinch the overall was great.”
“Simon looked strong in both the crit and the road stage, so I was expecting him to seal the deal but you can never ever count Roy out! Mike and Jonny both did a lot of work on the road stage as well to nullify the threat of Jake Martin so it was definitely an all round team effort to get this win.”