Report: South Region Road Race Champs


John Whittington, Celia Davis-Hayes and Tristan Robbins were crowned South Region Champions after some good riding over the Wiltshire country side.

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Report & pics by Graham Robins & rider reactions & results Eamonn Deane

The Army Cycling Union promoted the event on a tough rolling course on the edge of Salisbury Plain Military training ground. The men completed six laps (90 miles) while the women and juniors did three (45 miles).


The event started in the army Garrison town of Tidworth on the Hampshire Wiltshire border and looped North toward Pewsey and then back to Upavon and then past the Army Air station, before turning again towards Everleigh. The weather was dry and there was very little wind, so a good day for racing.

Photo Album by Graham Robins

The two groups were separated by a ten minute gap as the rode away from the HQ on a six mile drive onto the course proper. Once clear of the junction the flag drops and racing gets underway.

On the first lap a group of five forms on the front and they are soon joined by another three who bridge across as the race passes the feed station on the climb up towards the air station. The peloton splits on the climb and soon some riders are shelled out the back. There were several probing attacks on this opening lap but there isn’t a firm gap yet.

The second lap sees the first proper break go away as they enter Upavon village with six riders clear by one minute with a chasing group of four. There are a couple of loan riders trying to form up a chase but the bulk of the peloton are now loosing time.

The leaders hold their gap but coming up fast are Tom Stockdale (Spin Rotor- Primal Europe) and Justin Hoy (Felt Colbornes-Hargroves RT). Once these two make the junction the gap to a chase group is now 1min 30secs.

The leading group is then swollen to ten riders as first Ollie Beckingsale (Endura MTB Racing) kick on and then John Whittington follows across and the bunch is now at 2mins. It’s not until lap five when we next see the action intensify as riders attack each other and this succeeds in breaking the rhythm and causes a slit in the leading group. First two riders are shelled out the back on the climb through the feed station and then the remaining eight split into two groups of four. The leading four are John Whittington, Ollie Beckingsale, Chris Spence (Felt Colbornes-Hargroves RT) and Colin Parry (Spin Rotor- Primal Europe).

As the leaders approached the finish area John buried himself and eased away from Chris as Ollie sat up safe knowing Colin was behind him. John used every bit of energy to pull away and was so exhausted he weaved across the line and promptly jumped of his bike and collapsed into the long grass on the road side. The women’s race of three laps saw Philadelphian rider Celia Davis-Hayes the,24year old well clear of second place Gillian Taylor (Abergavenny RC) with Marianne Britten (VC St Raphael ) third. Celia is over from New York racing for a season and is currently looking for a local team to ride with.

The junior race was a very hard contested event with several strong riders capable of winning. Tristan Robbins (Cardiff JIF), Andy Shackle (Peter Hansford RT and Adam Beddall (Gloucester City) were the medal winners but Tristan was pushed all the way to the line by Andy only taking the win on the finish line.

Rider Reactions from Eamonn Deane (Report/Photos also on his blog page)

John Whittington “I got away on the last corner. I just slammed it, it was good work, me and Oli (Beckingsale) we bridged over, I sort of knew Oli’s joker card, his little attack on the climb, he did that on the last lap. I followed him there. It was a nice little sort of hybrid team between me and Oli in the end, we both work in BW Cycling, a good win for the shop really.”

“Oli was doing tons of work, he put 3 minutes into the bunch when we got to the break. It was really tough but it felt like a safe course, a really fun course. Ive got to say I wanted to win it, yeah yeah, that’s the way you have to think, to try and win, you ve got to go in thinking you can win then you will give every effort to win.”

“Once the break was away, me and Oli knew we had to get across. Oli jumped and I just sucked his wheel on the climb, he has got a bit more power than me!”

Chris Spence “I knew from the get go you had to get in the moves, I was in the first and the second move and it was better up front than trying to get across. Oli and about four or five got across and we knew that was it. It just kind of whittled down after that”.

The legs got tired with a few of the guys and gaps were going and people were losing contact. A few people cramped through the feed climb and then we were four. Fair play to John, he got a little gap and just put his head down and buried himself. We were looking at each other, we were tired and could not pull him back, I think everyone was cramping.”

Oli Beckingsale “ It’s a good opportunity to train, I am a bike racer but I get paid to mountain bike. Road races like this are really good speed prep for the mountain bike. Road racing before some off road sort of revs me up a bit. I want to try and win but I would rather put it on the line and finish knackered, it’s a priority really.”

“I train with John a lot, he’s a good guy. I said to him I am going to go full gas through the feed, don’t look back till we get to the top, and it worked perfectly. We got to the break, then we were the main guys driving it. I think we were the strongest in there. Last time up the climb, I had a pop, I had good legs. I thought I was just going to ride away but I started to cramp in the hamstrings.”

“When John jumped, everyone looked but I did not move, everyone was tired, I could see John weaving all over the place. I think we were all in bits. It’s a great course, fair you could run a premier round here, 90 tough miles”.

Colin Parry “I got in the break, it was a good group we were working well together we had a good gap, I have struggled a bit this year with a virus, so I am just trying to get some form back and today is the best I have ridden. I had a little plan to get away a couple of miles to go but John beat me to it, he committed first. He noticed he did well at the Lincoln GP last week. I think there was an element of team work with Oli, that’s fair enough”

James Phillips “ I was quite lucky to get in the break, I got in the right move, I looked around and saw some big guys there, I thought this could stay away as their team mates would not chase, it’s my first time riding this distance but I felt comfortable. I was not able to stay with the top boys”

Former Professional Harry Lodge drove the neutral service car and reported only 3 punctures and a broken spoke. Demand for water was high as the temperature rose.

E/1/2/3 Result
1st John Whittington Team Diabetes UK
2nd Chris Spence Felt-Colbornes-Hargroves Cycles @ 0-06
3rd Oliver Beckingsale Endura MTB Racing st
4th Colin Parry Spin-Rotor-Primal Europe-Coriginals RT @ 0-17
5th James Phillips Severn Road Club @ 0-46
6th Tom Stockdale Spin-Rotor-Primal Europe-Coriginals RT @ 0-57
7th Matthew Franklin Team Diabetes UK @ 1-07
8th Justin Hoy Felt-Colbornes-Hargroves Cycles @ 3-00
9th Will Stephenson Rapha Condor JLT @ 4-45
10th Grant Bayton Ride 24/7 Wilier st
11th Luke Dunbar Equipe CMI st
12th Wayne Coombs Winchcombe CC st
13th Michael Ward Ride 24/7 Wilier st
14th Steve Dring Team Echelon-Rotor @ 5-40
15th Mark Perry Dream Cycling st
16th Simon Brooks VC St Raphael/ Waites Contracts st
17th Patrick Glabraith Equipe Velo Ecosse/ Montpeliers st
18th Cameron Campbell Army Cycling Union st
19th Glyndwr Griffiths Bristol South CC @ 7-00
20th Nicholas Tilling Ride 24/7 st
21st Adrian Lawson Cadence RT @ 7-09
22nd Ben Davis Bristol Road Club @ 7-15
23rd Matthew Ulmer Dynamic Bikes RPC @ 7-36
24th Sam Dansie Berwicke Wheelers @ 10-19
25th Charles Coleman Dream Cycling @ 11-48
26th Robert Ward Felt-Colbornes-Hargroves Cycles st
27th Daniel Guest Army Cycling Union st
28th Malcolm Dixon Severn Road Club st
29th Joe Barry Performance Cycles st
30th Rupert Denny Dream Cycling st
31st Jerry Rayner Westbury Wheelers st
32nd George Harper Felt-Colbornes-Hargroves Cycles
33rd Ben Stockdale Metaltek-Knights of Old
34th Tom Bowering Swindon Cycles Race Academy
35th Jay Eastwood Primera-Specialized
36th Chris Fletcher Team Axiom
37th Mark Munns Ride 24/7 Wilier
38th Calllum Lister Cotswolds Veldrijen
39th Jamie Wilkins Procycling magazine

Tristan Robbins “It was a reall y good race, it’s a hard course, undulating and it was very windy and exposed. I planned on going up the road early, but its just so hard it all came back together , Andy led the sprint out and I hit him”

1. Tristan Robbins Cardif JIF
2. Andrew Shackel Peter Hansford RT
3. Adam Beddall Gloucester City CC
4. Matthew Mildon Mud Sweat N Gears
5. Tom Marshall VC Montpellier
6. Noah Godman Severn Road Club
7. Robert Bolwell VC St Raphael / Waite Contracts / Hewitt Cycles
8. Charlie Creswell-Hogg Portsmouth North End CC
9. Luke Davies VC St Raphael / Waite Contracts / Hewitt Cycles
10. George Smith Westbury Wheelers


Ceclia Davis-Hayes “It was a great race, it was neat they mixed the juniors, masters and women all together. The fast juniors got away on the first lap.I was in a little group with for masters but we got caught near the end. I made friends with one of the masters and asked him to lead me out and he did! He went with about six hundred to go but cramped up and came off really hard.”

“A gap opened up as the field were caught behind him, I had a 400 metre sprint which was a bit long” MMMM is teaching at Winchester college for a year before returning to New York to start medical school. She races for Stans-No Tubes, a New York city women’s based team. How does the racing compare? “I think I have to give it to the Brits, better bike handlers a bit more savvy tactical, American women are really strong but a lot come from triathlon and they don’t have great bike handling skills”

1st Cecilia Davis-Hayes Stans Notunes
2nd GillianTaylor Abergavenny RC
3rd Marianee Britten VC St Raphael / Waite Contracts / Hewitt Cycles
4th Jennifer Hudson VC St Raphael / Waite Contracts / Hewitt Cycles
5th Ellie Gilham VC St Raphael / Waite Contracts / Hewitt Cycles
6th Harrriet Guest Army Cycling Union
7th Madeline Moore VC St Raphael / Waite Contracts / Hewitt Cycles
8th Lucy Chittenden East Street Cycles
9th Lili McLean Andover Wheelers
10th Susan Jeffery Army Cycling Union
11th Nicky Roberts Army Cycling Union

1st Andy Hibberd North Hants RC
2nd Alan Spurden Andover Wheelers
3rd David Harper Andover Wheelers
4th Mathew Blackmore Bristol Road Club
5th David Dalton Fareham Wheelers
6th Bob Richardson Bournemouth Arrow CC
7th Peter Phillips Bath CC
8th Peter Humphreys Gillingham and District Wheelers
9th Edward Collins Mendip CC
10th Sean Bolton Swindon RC
11th Mike Smith Gillingham and District Wheelers
12th Richard Burch Sotonia CC
13th Roger Longman Team Tor 2000
14th Richard Pearman Team Wiggle
15th Dave Tilling Performance Cycles


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