Report – Victor Berlemont RR


After a tough hundred miles of racing, Ashley Cox (CC Luton) scored a narrow but clear victory in the Victor Berlemont RR

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Report – Victor Berlemont RR
(thanks to Chris Lovibond)

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After a tough hundred miles of racing, Ashley Cox (CC Luton) scored a narrow but clear victory over second placed Harry Evans (Cadence) with Mark Baines (Spirit Bikes) close behind in third place.


A break had been initiated during the first lap and there was no point after this when there were not some riders off the front. Spectators at the roadside needed sharp powers of observation to appreciate that the make up of the break was changing all the time as one group was absorbed and another formed. A constant feature of the breaks was that Ashley Cox was always there, always able to follow each new attack, and his presence gave a false impression that the break had stability.

The move which won the race did not develop until halfway through the final lap, on the descent towards Goring after the main road section, and was initiated by Mark Baines who took Harry Evans, Ashley Cox and Joe Wiltshire (NFTO) with him. This left the final ascent of the one in ten gradient leading up to the finish where Evans hoped that his climbing ability would be sufficient to take him clear of his companions. It wasn’t. When Cox opened up the sprint Evans was still confident he could win but, as it had been for the whole race, it was Ashley Cox’s day.

Back at the HQ all agreed that this had been a great race. The Woodcote course provided variety with its fast main road section, a descent through the lanes and then that brutal climb from Goring towards the finish. Although it’s not easy to tell from the British Cycling calendar it seems likely that this is the only ‘National B’ event of 100 miles – a distance which is typical of important events both here and on the continent.

2014 Berlemont 3

It’s inevitable in a report like this that the majority of the riders do not get a fair mention, but let’s spare a thought for the whole field who rode a hard race over a distance that, for most of them, was uncharted territory. Another group who deserve a mention (because they made the event possible) are the many members of the Pedal Club who turned out as helpers, and this is an example of how that normally unobtrusive organisation is an important asset to cycle sport.

Everyone connected with bike racing is sadly aware of the classic events which have disappeared, from the Archer Grand Prix to the Bordeaux Paris, but here we’ve seen a little miracle: the rebirth of a race, with this year’s edition being a worthy reflection of the heritage of the Victor Berlemont Road Race. For this we must be thankful for the determination of Doug Collins and the energy of Patrick Kavanagh who, between them, made the idea of renaissance a reality.

Photos from John Scott (Bonjour Services)





1. Ashley Cox (CC Luton)
2. Harry Evans (Cadence)
3. Mark Baines (Spirit Bikes RT)
4. Joe Wiltshire (NFTO)
5. Tom Neale (Team Corley Cycles)
6. Doug Coleman (CC Luton)
7. Chris Dredge (Spirit Bikes RT)
8. Ben Carty (Felt Colbornes Hargroves RT)
9. James Davey (Mid Devon CC)
10. Martin Ford (BC Private Member)

Combativity Prize: Richard Wood (Arbis – Colbert Cycles RT)
Best Junior: Joe Wiltshire
Best under 23: Tom Neale.

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