Report: Essex Mid Summer RR

Solo win for Russell Hampton wins the  Essex Mid Summer Road Race, Owen Lake first ECCA rider

Russell Rules! – Hampton’s Specialized PCH UK Summer Road Race

Gordon Wiseman writes … His race winning margin said it all.  Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport – Specialized) was the dominant rider in the inaugural road race promotion of the Essex based PCH UK Racing Team, soloing the last two laps of the wind-blown Ugly circuit to take the chequered flag by 1min. 22secs.

Andy Sheridan photography:

A full field of 70 rides lined up at the start of the 120kms race and they’d hardly left the neutralized zone before Szlachta Wojciech (Pasta Montegrappa-Zheroquadro) put in the first attack of the day.

He stayed away for most of the opening lap and although briefly joined by another rider, before half of the second tour had been completed they’d been hauled in by a group of six riders from which Hampton emerged with Wojciech’s Pasta Montegrappa team-mate Dave McLean.

These two joined together to form a partnership that equally shared the workload to keep themselves clear of the ever reforming chasing bunch and, until just over 20kms to go, their lead stretched out to around 1min. 15secs. but was never pulled in to less than 35 seconds.

As they crested the climb to the finishing line with two laps to go, a group of 9 riders finally hauled them in but Hampton wasn’t finished even though he’d been at the front of the race for so long. Descending at over 65kph, the larger leading group then started another drag up to a set of crossroads and here Hampton made his move.

Photo: Lisa Flanagan.

A battling Roy Chamberlain who was in yellow in Paris recently.

“The climb to the finishing line, into a head wind, was hard but I found the drag up to and over the crossroads to be the hardest part of the circuit” Hampton explained later.  “I was on the little ring and even though they’d just pulled me back, I decided the attack”.

Moving to the back of the circuit – “I found I was constantly hitting 50kph as I switched to time trial mode” – Hampton soon opened a lead that was to stretch to 1min. 22secs. by the time he finally crossed the finishing line but behind him the action was far from done and dusted.

The ever-green Roy Chamberlain (Team Corley Cycles-Cervélo-Alpha RC) linked with Andrew Griffiths (Twenty3c/Orbea) as this pair then slipped the clutches of the rest of the race and they looked to have the rest of the podium places stitched up between them.

“But we were just amazed at how powerful Hampton was” Chamberlain said back at the race HQ.  “Griffiths is the current U23 national time trial champion and together we thought we’d be able to pull him back in but we just couldn’t do it”.

As these two turned left onto the final climb of the day they in turn were pulled back by a chasing quartet that included Dave McLean who’d used the kilometres since he’d lost the lead with Hampton to sit in and recover to prepare for the final sprint.

Photo: Lisa Flanagan.

In describing that sprint for the eventual second place McLean said; “This was my first race for six weeks since breaking my collarbone so I was delighted just to be in a position to go for a placing.  I didn’t worry about how my legs felt, we were all as tired as each other, so I just put my head down and went for it”.

But the man with the biggest smile on his face as he later thought about his race was Russell Hampton after his gold star performance.  “I’d never raced on this circuit so didn’t know what to expect.  I was on my own so decided I’d just go for it from the gun.  I haven’t done much racing lately, mainly concentrating on time trials but that’s obviously helped and I was able to use the strength I’ve developed to get this win!”

Steve Griffiths was first of the promoting club’s riders home in 9th place overall, just missing out on the ECCA Senior Road Race championship that was run off as part of the PCH UK promotion being outsprinted by Cambridge CC’s Owen Lake.

Photo: Lisa Flanagan.

More photos here:

Result (thanks to organiser Ian Franklin for the result!)
1        Russell Hampton  Sigma Sport Specialized Cycling Team    1
2        David Mclean  Pasta Montegrappa – Zheroquadro    E     @ 1m 22 secs
3        Ashley Cox  Team Corley Cycles/Cervelo/Alpha R.C    E     @ 1m 27 secs
4        Andy Lyons  Twenty3c-Orbea    E     @ 1m 34 secs
5        Roy Chamberlain  Team Corley Cycles/Cervelo/Alpha R.C    E     @ 1m 39 secs
6        Andrew Griffiths  Twenty3c-Orbea    1     @ 1m 47 secs
7        Wojciech Szlachta  Pasta Montegrappa – Zheroquadro    1     @ 1m 51 secs
8        Owen Lake  Cambridge CC    2    Bunch @ 2 mins 7 secs
9        Steven Griffiths  PCH UK Racing Team    2
10        Jack Kirk  Cyclisme Compétition Multipôle Etang de Berre    E
11        Michael Auger  VC Norwich    1
12        Roger Maidment  East London Velo    1
13        Marcel Six  Twenty3c-Orbea    E
14        Daniel Crawley  PCH UK Racing Team    2
15        Jamie Caldwell  St Ives CC    1
16        Philip Hetzel  Ipswich BC    1
17        Jake Hales  Team Corley Cycles/Cervelo/Alpha R.C    E
18        Andrew Sanders  Giant Radlett    1
19        Basil Moss  Cambridge CC    1
20        Richard Da Silva  Stevenage CC    1
21        Richard Bott  Herbalife/    E
22        Simon Keen  Crest CC – Ilford    2
23        Simon Gaywood  Team Corley Cycles/Cervelo/Alpha R.C    E
24        Kevin Knox  Vicious Velo    1
25        Ben Wright  VC Revolution    2
26        Peter Hargreaves  VC Norwich    3
27        James Jones  Beeline Bicycles RT    1
28        Thomas Durno  Cambridge University CC    2
29        Gonzalo Rodriguez  East London Velo    2
30        Stoyko Bussarov  Eagle RC    2
31        Mark Baines  Spirit Racing Team    2
32        James Jackson  RG Active Race Team    2
33        Wayne MacGuire  PCH UK Racing Team    2
34        Douglas Coleman  Anders Electronics/TMG Horizon RT    2
35        Richard Dunnett  Diss & District CC    2
36        Darren Barclay  Arctic – Premier Cycling Team    E
37        Daniel Young  Glendene CC    2J
38        John Peters  CC Luton    2
39        Russell Ford  Glade CC    2
40        Daniel Snow  Glendene CC    2J
41        Rowan Dever  Pasta Montegrappa – Zheroquadro    E
42        Alexander Ray  Pasta Montegrappa – Zheroquadro    1
43        David Miller  West Suffolk Wheelers & Triathlon Club     3
44        Jim Lewis  Glendene CC    2J
45        Toby Parnell  Cambridge University CC    2
46        Tim Carter  Virgin Active    2
47        Mike Wragg  Python Racing Team    E
48        Keir Apperley  Cycling Club Hackney    3
49        James Fox  CC Luton    2
50        Mark Howard  PCH UK Racing Team    2
51        Mark Holt  Pasta Montegrappa – Zheroquadro    2
52        Jack Waller  Team Corley Cycles/Cervelo/Alpha R.C    2

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