News – Victor Berlemont Road Race


Next Sunday (30th August) sees the second edition of the Victor Berlemont Road Race at its new venue – the Woodcote circuit in Oxfordshire.

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News – Victor Berlemont Road Race

Preview: The Victor Berlemont Road Race (30th August 2015)
At 100 miles it is one of the few British events which compare with continental races in distance and climbs (over 6500 feet), and the organiser of this reborn classic, Patrick Kavanagh, has the ambition to create a ‘Monument’. He is clearly on the way to success with this project.

Patrick’s strategy goes along the following lines. Although there are other races of seventy or eighty miles, there’s not much at this length which is typical what the European pros ride, so along with the distance we’ll throw in some Chiltern climbs, which should make the event an ideal warm up for the Tour of Britain starting the following Sunday. Also, British single day races are often individual affairs, without much team work, so we’ll seek team entries.

This plan, built on the success of last year’s event, has seen a remarkable response with strong team entries from Pedal Heaven, Moda Anon, Catford Banks, Nuun Sigma Sport and Team Wiggins. There were 126 entries for the 80 places available.

Established riders to watch are: Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma), Matt Clarke (London Dynamo) winner of the recent Neil Gardner Memorial, Tom Neale (Catford) fifth in the event last year, the evergreen Tony Gibb (Full Gas Racing).

Among the promising younger entrants are Joe Harris, a local rider recently returned from two years with Cycle Team Tomacc in the hothouse of Belgian road racing, Alex Fanshaw (Zappi’s) who has been racing in Italy and nineteen year old Chris Lawless (Team Wiggins) winner of the GP of Wales earlier this month, who took sixth place behind Phillippe Gilbert in the Belgian semi classic GP Cerami.

Last year’s winner, Ashley Cox (CC Luton) is not riding as he has the 10 mile RTTC championships to race.

In the densely populated home counties, road race promotion is a harder task than it once was and a team of forty eight has been put together to make the race happen. This includes a number of marshals from the Pedal Club, regional commissaries performing driving roles and team of accredited marshals who have been pivotal in supporting the safe passage of the race. A further layer of safety will be provided by five National Escort Group motorcycle outriders.

A welcome presence at the Victor Berlemont this year will be the British Cycling Central Region President Stuart Benstead who will present prizes to the top ten finishers. Everyone in the Central Region and beyond knows the huge contribution Stuart has made to the sport and he will be among many friends next Sunday.

HQ: Woodcote Village Hall. Start time: 11 am.

The Course – Click this link

We hope that if you’re not racing you’ll be able to come out as a spectator, but we must ask you all to remember that bike racing is always on trial at events like this and with the upsurge in the sport this is now more true than ever. The organisers have given undertakings to the Parish Council in Woodcote that car parking will not cause disruption in the village – please bear this in mind.

Background History of the event.
Victor and Gaston Berlement, pere et fils, were publicans and owners of the famous Soho pub The French House from 1914 to 1989. Although the pub is best known for its famous literary and artistic clientele (Dylan Thomas, Brendan Behan, Lucian Freud – the list is almost endless), both father and son were enthusiastic sports supporters. Victor was a French speaking Belgian, so it is not surprising that he had a passion for bike racing, and this was passed on to Gaston who was associated with the Southern Velo, and was a vice president of the BLRC.

The race itself was first run, by the Southern Velo, in 1951 and was won by Chris Hooper of the promoting club. It is not recorded whether there were any competitors from other clubs on that occasion, but it is certain that the race quickly became an important fixture and over the next four decades acquired a distinguished list of winners including: Brian Wilcher (Army CU) in 1956, Dave Bedwell (various ‘independent’ teams) in 1960,’62 and ’64, John Froude (Festival RC) 1965, Peter Chisman (Raleigh) 1966, Les West (Holdsworth/Campagnolo) 1969,70 and 71, Gary Crewe (National RR Championship 1972) and Dave Rayner (East Bradford) 1992. The last promotion in this sequence was in 1996.

Thanks to an initiative from Doug Collins a revival came in 2010, with a Surrey League promotion which has now led to a full renaissance as an independent National level ‘B’ event.

Startlist: Victor Berlemont Road Race

1 Tom Neale Catford CC Equipe/Banks
2 Lawrence Carpenter Catford CC Equipe/Banks
3 Ashley Dennis Catford CC Equipe/Banks
4 Joshua Green Catford CC Equipe/Banks
5 Henry Latimer Catford CC Equipe/Banks
6 Jez McCann Catford CC Equipe/Banks
7 Lewis Atkins Pedal Heaven RT
8 William Harper Pedal Heaven RT
9 Robert McCarthy Pedal Heaven RT
10 Robert Moore Pedal Heaven RT
11 Max Stedman Pedal Heaven RT
12 Mitchell Webber Pedal Heaven RT
13 Tim Allen Corley Cycles – Drops RT
14 William Goulbourne Corley Cycles – Drops RT
15 Simon Henley Corley Cycles – Drops RT
16 Edward Palfreeman Corley Cycles – Drops RT
17 Michael Smith Corley Cycles – Drops RT
18 Edward Watkiss Corley Cycles – Drops RT
19 Andy Betts Nuun-Sigma Sport-London RT
20 Cameron Fraser Nuun-Sigma Sport-London RT
21 George Gori Nuun-Sigma Sport-London RT
22 Wouter Sybrandy Nuun-Sigma Sport-London RT
23 Mark Christian Team Wiggins
24 Luc Hall Team Wiggins
25 Christopher Lawless Team Wiggins
26 Daniel Patten Team Wiggins
27 Michael Thompson Team Wiggins
28 Joshua Lawless Team Moda-Anon
29 Andrew Turner Team Moda-Anon
30 Andrew Webster Team Moda-Anon
31 Zack Williamson Team Moda-Anon
32 John Heaton-Armstrong Felt Racing
33 Thomas Leach Felt Racing
34 Daniel Bigham Beeline Bicycles RT
35 Ben Sumner Beeline Bicycles RT
36 James Archibald G.S. Henley
37 Paul Elcock G.S. Henley
38 Joe Harris Cycling Team Tomacc
39 Anthony Gibb Full Gas Racing Team
40 Richard Wood Arbis – Colbert Cycles RT
41 Mike Wragg Arbis – Colbert Cycles RT
42 Edward Laverack JLT Condor
43 Paul Caton TMG Horizon Cycling Team
44 Neil Wass TMG Horizon Cycling Team
45 Gunther Zechmann London Phoenix CC
46 Michael Cripps Army Cycling Union
47 Matthew Cryer Army Cycling Union
48 Justin Belcher Banbury Star CC
49 David Billings VC St Raphael
50 Matthew Bone Danny Shane – Storck Racing
51 Tom Burnley Thames Velo
52 Joshua Burns Velosure Starley Primal
53 Matthew Clarke London Dynamo
54 Douglas Coleman CC Luton
55 Andrew Critchlow WyndyMilla
56 Oliver Davies OVB
57 Lee Davis Ride 24/7
58 Malcolm Dixon Dream Cycling Race Team
59 Alex Fanshawe Zappis Racing Team
60 Andrew Feather Bikeshed – Exeter Uni
61 Calum Gillespie
62 David Hewett Adalta Cycling Club
63 Peter Hitt VC Meudon
64 Scott Holmes Hillingdon Cycling Club
65 Bevan Humphreys Easton Ritte
66 Dominic Jelfs Madison Genesis
67 Joshua Jones Team Tor 2000
68 David Kingsbury High Wycombe Cycling Club
69 James Local Neon-Velo Cycling Team
70 Benjamin Marks
71 Anthony Morris Cycle Club Ashwell (CCA)
72 Anthony Moye Easton Ritte
73 Mark Perry All Terrain Cycles
74 Andrew Pickett Eden Veranda Racing
75 William Scott Bonito Squadra Corse
76 Jack Stanton-Warren Halesowen A & CC
77 Harry Thomas Worcester Cycle Centre
78 Sean Townsend Radeon Cycle Coaching
79 Richard Unwin VC Meudon
80 Liam Walsh VC St Raphael

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