Report – Thames Velo Spring Road Races


Oliver Barbieri and Richard Hepworth (Sport Grub KUOTA) winners at the Thames Velo Spring Road Races

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Report – Thames Velo Spring Road Races

Sunday 26th April | Author – Mark Wade | Photos Matt O’Connor

The annual Thames Velo Spring Road Race didn’t quite have spring like conditions for the race but a mainly overcast day was brightened up by some exciting racing.


The main race of the day was the National B Band 2 race for Elite/1/2/3 held over 120kms/75 miles on the Great Milton Circuit in Oxfordshire, with a full field of 80 riders rolling out from the HQ in the village of Little Milton.

After 24kms a breakaway of about ten riders had made it off the front to pull out a two minute gap on the peloton, which after 50kms was stretched to nearly a three minute chase until being pulled back to one minute thirty five with about 30kms to go.

On the final lap of the circuit, a group of three riders consisting of Matt Cronshaw (Madison Genesis), Richard Hepworth (SportGrub KUOTA) and NTFO’s James Lewis attacked the breakaway and put nearly two minutes between themselves and the now second chasing group of David Kingsbury (High Wycombe CC), Ryan Visser (Danny Shane-Storck Racing), Paul Londors (Arbis-Colbert Cycles), Craig Wallduck (Dream Cycling RT), Danny Axford (Artic-Tacx), Jamie Scott (Corley Cycles-Drops RT) and Joel Lewis (NFTO), whilst the peloton followed with a gap of about 45 seconds.


On the final ascent of Clare Hill, Cronshaw put in a big solo attack to distance Hepworth and Lewis for a while, only to be caught again where both riders turned the screw and upped the pace to ride away. Roger Hammond of Madison Genesis later reported that Cronshaw was suffering from an aggravated broken rib sustained in a crash the week before in Holland.

As the race approached its finale on the long energy sapping drag up to the finish line, Hepworth and Lewis began the sprint with about 500 metres remaining, both putting in a gladiatorial shoulder to shoulder effort to the line which saw Hepworth take the win by the narrowest of margins.

Cronshaw was able to roll in, clearly suffering from the effects of last week’s crash for an uncontested third, and the start of an undoubted period of rest. Also of note was Danny Axford (Artic Tacx) who took a well deserved fourth place and commented that he first raced this race way back in 1994!


The earlier 3/4 cat race saw a very strong effort by the in form Oliver Barbieri (Spirit Bikes Racing Team) to ride from the peloton for a solo victory. The bunch sprint that followed was marred by an apparent touch of wheels in the final few metres that caused James Riall (London Dynamo) to crash heavily with others coming down around him. Thankfully medical support was immediately on hand and no serious injury sustained apart from road rash.

When it comes to race organization, Thames Velo punch way above their weight for a small club, they put on two well organised races, even being described by one of the race commissaries as the Central Region Monument.


E/1/2/3 race

1. Richard Hepworth (SportGrub KUOTA)
2. James Lewis (NFTO)
3. Matt Cronshaw (Madison Genesis)
4. Danny Axford (Artic Tacx RT)
5. Craig Wallduck (Dream Cycling Team)
6. Joel Lewis (Rhino Racing)
7. Ken Buckley (Spokes of Bagshot)
8. Simon Coles (Norwood Paragon)
9. Adam Capes (Finchley RT)
10. Tristan Robins (Madison Genesis)

3/4 Cat race
1. Oliver Barbieri (Spirit Bikes Racing Team)
2. Gareth Dickensen (Farnborough & Camberley)
3. Daniel Marrett (GS Henley)
4. Michael Devany (Crowley Road Condors)
5. David Stoyle (Bath Cycling Club)
6. James Franklin (Velo Club Venta)
7. Steve James (High Wycombe CC)
8. Harry Studley (Bath University)
9. Robin Basford (Wyndy Milla)
10. Dominic Maxwell (Sussex Revolution)

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