Report: Stockbridge Down Road Race

Ben Wins First and Last – Ben Stockdale (Team Qoroz) took a fine win to round off a long hard season

Sunday 25th September 2011

Graham Robins ( writes…Fresh from racing in Bulgaria, Ben out sprinted  Allan Ridler (Team Cycle Kingdom) in a tough race over five laps (65 miles) on a warm sunny morning in Hampshire.
The riders had to contend with a stiff headwind along the main road up and down the climbs on the return towards Stockbridge.

The race started in a light hearted way with riders chatting in the bunch as the climbed up Stockbridge Down on the neutralised section through the finish line. The first break came with three quarters of a lap completed when Tom Stockdale (Team Qoroz) and Conor Ryan (VC Montpellier) had a lead of 1min 30sec after working hard to get away and were trying to strengthen their lead into the strengthening headwind on the top of Leckford down. The bunch were strung out under the pressure applied by David Sinclair (Team GWR), Phil Peters (Cannondale Racing) and Rowan Horner (VC St Raphael), close in attention was Ben Stockdale just marking the front group.

Photo: Graham Robins (

On lap two Tom and Conor were first to show at the junction, with a strong chasing group 40secs behind, the group of six contained Danny Axford (Artic Premier RT), Colin Parry (Willier/goselfdrive), Will Stephenson (Bournemouth Arrow)and Jack Kirk (Agisko Viner). Just behind these were David Sinclair and Richard Wood (Team Milton Keynes) a further 5secs down, the bunch now strung out were 1min18secs behind.

In the village of Crawley on lap three the leaders had been joined by the six chasers to make a strong 8 man leading group, this now included Allan Ridler ,Jake Kirk and Ben Stockdale, the bunch was now 1min 54 secs behind and with most of the big hitters in the lead it was difficult to think they would be caught and so the winner had to come from one of these.

Lap four saw the leaders extend their lead to over 2mins, first through the finish line was Colin Parry followed by Ben Stockdale with the others six only a couple of seconds behind.
The start of the last lap saw Colin and Ben sprinting away of now five chasers as we seemed to have lost Tom Stockdale who rolled into the finish area to retire after a very long season of racing. The chasing group were now 1min 38secs down on the leaders with Simon Brookes (VC St Raphael) ,Roy Chamberlain (Team Corley Cycles) and Richard Wood.

The race had three prime prizes on laps two, three and four with Ben winning two and Colin picking up one.

Graham Robins (

As the riders approached the finish line at the top of the climb with 100 meters to go it was Ben and Jack in the lead, Ben powered around his friend to win by a couple of bike lengths. Allan Ridler was a few meters behind with Colin in fourth. The remainder of the leading group all rolled in evenly spaced out with Conor losing out coming in 1min down on the winner having been in the leading break all race.

After the race Ben said, “Hard, very hard! “I had my brother (&teammate) Tom in the early break with Conor so I had an easy ride up to the break. The wind was a factor during the race and the break quickly settled in to a rhythm working well together”. With six miles to go Ben thought the race was over when Colin Parry put in a solo move. But Ben says “we all worked together and fought hard over the hill to bring him back.” Ben knew that Jack would be going strong having ridden with him in Bulgaria last week and kept him close by and over powered him in the finale.

Team Qoroz team manager David Walters said after the race, “It had been a mature and controlled ride from a very talented guy, who has had a great year, ably backed by the young team.” The event was promoted and marshalled ably by members of Andover Wheelers and was sponsored by Jamie Shearer of J Shearer Roofing.

Graham Robins (

1. Ben Stockdale Team Qoroz
2. Jack Kirk Agisko Viner
3. Allan Ridler Team Cycle Kingdom
4. Colin Parry Willier/goselfdrive
5. Will Stephenson Bournemouth Arrow   And first Junior
6. Danny Axford Artic Premier
7. Conor Ryan VC Montpellier
8. Roy Chamberlain Team Corley Cycles
9. Richard Wood Team Milton Keynes
10. Simon Brookes VC St Raphael