Victory for Wouter Sybrandy in North Road Hardriders 25

In brilliant sunshine, IG-Sigmasport rider Wouter Sybrandy won the classic North Road Hard Riders in Hertfordshire

Paul Burgoine writes … This year’s edition of the ‘Hardriders’ was held in brilliant spring sunshine, which is not always the case, and in fact it’s a bit of a rarity. In what is becoming a annual outing now, I took a bit of Belgium to Hertfordshire and set up a ‘Flandrian‘ base camp at the point on Essendon Hill where you think you have reached the summit…. But in fact it’s the place where it gets worse.

Winner Wouter Sybrandy races though a little bit of Belgium on his way to victory.

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Anyway ’Lion of Flanders’ flags lined the route and larger flags fluttered in the light breeze. I went the extra mile this year and decorated the road ‘HUP’ ‘HUP’ ‘HUP’ although not sure how many would have seen that. Support was provided mainly for my club mates of the Finchley Racing Team but all riders were given a shout of encouragement as they neared the end of the gruelling 25 mile course around the Hertfordshire hills, an area that is known locally as ‘Little Switzerland’.

From my position on the circuit and armed with a start sheet, I could roughly judge who was setting a good time. By this point of the race, you can almost visibly judge the state of the riders by the grimaces… and the smoothness of their riding style. On my calculations, the early pace setters included Steve Golla (High Wycombe CC), Conall Yates (In Gear QuickVit Trainsharpe) and Darren Barclay (Arctic SRAMM RT) who were all getting to this point well under the hour mark.

But still to tackle the final climb (Little Elephant) before turning into Kentish Lanes for the final push to the line were Ashley Cox (Team Corley Cycles/Alpha CC), former winner Matt Botrill (Team Drag 2 Zero) and last year’s winner, Wouter Sybrandy (Team IG-Sigma Sport). One-by-one they arrived and flew up the hill and under or around the 50 minute mark.

Although these three were going visibly faster than everyone else, it was impossible to tell from this point on who the winner would be.
As it turned out, Wouter Sybrandy took the win for a second year running with an impressive time of 56.36 and time that left most other club riders in the race stunned at how they could be beaten by 15 minutes or more in some cases. Mathew Botrill was second in 57.32 and Ashley Cox completed the podium positions in 58.49.


Wouter with the Thistle Trophy. Right: Matt Bottrill. Photos Neil Lewis

I ask a very relaxed Wouter how he felt his ride went and he said “Well, I just returned from a team training camp in Tuscany last night so I wasn’t expecting too much but I guess training on the Tuscan hills has worked out alright. I felt slightly tired so I couldn’t push too hard on the hills so I just tried to have an evenly balanced ride over the whole course.”

“I knew Botrill set off five minutes ahead of me and there was a few points when I could see him, about half way round I knew I was 30 seconds up on him. So I just kept pushing it hard and thought I should be alright ”

I asked Wouter his plans for the rest of the season and he said “this is pretty much the first and last time trial, because we have had a few cancelled over the past couple of weeks, so from now on, its just road racing. Our teams looking very strong this year and we got some great new signings. We had a very productive training camp last week so alls good.”

“Personally, I will try and peak around April/May when we have some pretty big races but as always, there is a lot of luck involved so being fit is just one of the factors”.

Left: Liam Stones, Right, first lady, Karla Boddy. Photos Neil Lewis

Left: First Junior, George Farrell & right, Ashley Cox. Photos Neil Lewis

Andrew Griffiths. Photos Neil Lewis - More Photos:


1 Wouter Sybrandy Team IG-Sigma Sport 00:56:36 Course record and 25 mile event record
2 Matthew Bottrill Team Drag 2 Zero 00:57:32
3 Ashley Cox Team Corley Cycles 00:58:49
4 Liam Stones Team Corley Cycles 00:59:13
5 Andrew Griffiths Team IG-Sigma Sport 00:59:32
6 Julian Ramsbottom I 01:00:09 2nd Vet on Standard
7 Scott Cousins Maldon & District CC 01:00:28
8 Conall Yates In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp 01:00:32
9 Roy Chamberlain Team Corley Cycles 01:00:49 1st Vet on Standard
10 Michael Broadwith Shorter Rochford RT 01:01:04
11 Steve Golla High Wycombe CC 01:01:07
12 Adam French East London Velo 01:01:27
13 Richard Prebble Node4 – Giordana RT 01:01:33 3rd Vet on Standard
14 Scott Walker I 01:02:07
15 Jonathan Shubert High Wycombe CC 01:02:28
16 Adam Topham High Wycombe CC 01:02:31
17 Darren Barclay Arctic-SRAM RT 01:03:15
18 George Farrell Welwyn Wheelers 01:04:32 1st Junior
19 Carl Ferri Addiscombe CC 01:04:47
20 Nigel Stephens Finchley RT 01:05:23
21 Tim Davies Icknield RC 01:05:29
22 Mark Baines Spirit RT 01:05:57
23 Joe Clark High Wycombe CC 01:06:29
24 Henry Farrell Welwyn Wheelers 01:06:45
25 Joshua Maynard Welwyn Wheelers 01:07:32
26 Albert Maher Finsbury Park CC 01:07:37
27 Philip Murrell Finsbury Park CC 01:08:37
28 Matthew Southerden Finsbury Park CC 01:08:41
29 Mark Smith Welwyn Wheelers 01:09:20
30 Will Jenkins Spirit RT 01:09:38
31 Tony May North Road CC 01:09:43
32 Gavin Lewis North Road CC 01:09:54
33 John McDowall North Road CC 01:09:54
34 Gray Turnock Finsbury Park CC 01:10:00
35 Colin Bailey North Road CC 01:10:03
36 Ben Lewis Finsbury Park CC 01:10:14
37 Ian Watson Finchley RT 01:10:19
38 David Staff Team Velo 01:10:19
39 Trevor Whittock Lea Valley CC 01:10:40
40 Peter Oliver Fairly United Cycling Team 01:10:49
41 Ryan Witchell Welwyn Wheelers 01:11:00
42 Karla Boddy High Wycombe CC 01:11:10 1st Woman
43 Gareth Bateson High Wycombe CC 01:11:24
44 Neal Marrin Finsbury Park CC 01:11:34
45 Ben Wilson Welwyn Wheelers 01:11:58
46 Chris Shepherd The Gregarios Superclub 01:12:49
47 Jeremy Bonn North Road CC 01:13:33
48 Mark Ambury The Gregarios Superclub 01:14:00
49 Jeremy Greenwood Finsbury Park CC 01:14:01
50 Scarlet Parker C.S. Grupetto 01:14:03
51 Lawrence Evans Welwyn Wheelers 01:14:12
52 George Aston Welwyn Wheelers 01:14:32
53 Hannah Evans High Wycombe CC 01:14:43
54 Dave Dickie Finchley RT 01:15:05
55 Adrian Lamb Southgate CC 01:15:16
56 Adam Spector North Road CC 01:15:26
57 Frank Rawlins North Road CC 01:15:55
58 Ralph Dadswell Antelope Racing Team 01:17:06
59 Bryan Holland North Road CC 01:17:13
60 Michael Higgins North Road CC 01:17:15
61 Creighton Varney High Wycombe CC 01:17:21
62 Nick Ison North Road CC 01:17:32
63 Matthew Gray The Gregarios Superclub 01:22:07
64 Marco Paganuzzi Tri Force 01:23:00
65 Andrew Turnock Finsbury Park CC 01:23:12
66 Paul Bailey North Road CC 01:25:35
67 Michael Landers High Wycombe CC 01:27:00
68 Paul Morrissey High Wycombe CC 01:30:14
69 Adam Brittain High Wycombe CC 01:52:59 inc 45 mins late start

Team Team Corley Cycles (Chamberlain, Cox, Stones) 02:58:51

First Lady: Karla Boddy, Highy Wycombe 1.11.10

First Junior: George Farrell, Welwyn Wheelers 1.04.32


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