Report: Victor Berlemont Trophy RR


21year old Kingston Upon Thames rider Rory Townsend riding for the Pedal Heaven RT was the winner of the latest running of the Victor Berlemont Trophy

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Report: Victor Berlemont Trophy RR

Sunday 28th August | by Graham Robins

Second Report (by Chris Lovibond)

“Rory was a class above every one else.” This was the comment of one of the members of the decisive break, itself clearly a group of powerful riders, but not strong enough for Rory Townsend (Pedal Heaven).

At one hundred miles this is the longest National B race in the calendar and with nine ascents of the 1 in 10 Flint Hill out of Goring, this is not an easy century. So a cautious start with the bunch remaining together might have been expected, but there were some impatient men in this field who started attacking almost immediately the neutralisation flag was withdrawn.

The first small group to form consisted of Andrew Turner (KTM Impsport), Richard Wood (TMG Horizon) and Tom Neale (Metaltek Kuota) hotly pursued by Chris Dredge (ASFRA), Will Bjergfelt and Elliot Porter (Neon Velo) and Michael Mottram (HR Owen-Maserati). The first time up Flint Hill the confident Turner was again on the attack which resulted in a partnership with Mottram which lasted most of the second lap.

Before the second climb of Flint Hill the bunch was splintering with small groups of chasers trying to reach the leaders, and by the third lap the final selection for the leading group had been made. This included (apart from those already mentioned): Jake Hales (Spirit Bikes), Keiran Brady, Rhys Howells and Luke Ryan (Richardsons Trek), Rory Townsend and Lloyd Chapman (Pedal Heaven), Ben Marks (Cycleworks)

Oscar Hutchins (Primera-Team Jobs) Owen James and Joshua Green (Catford Banks), Dan Bigham and Will Haynes (Planet X- Northside), Lawrence Carpenter (Nuun- Sigma Sport) and Paul Elcock (GS Henley) who deserves special mention as one of only two third category riders in the whole field.

This group worked well together and the membership remained static, although there were some attacks, among others Mottram making what he described as a “possibly unwise” lone foray, and from Turner, who would certainly have been a strong contender for a combativity prize. The main peloton of about thirty ploughed until being pulled out at the beginning of the final circuit when they were half a lap down on the leaders.

The real action came in the last couple of laps and this is Townsend’s description: “With two laps to go Elliot Porter and I pushed on the hill and opened a gap and I was surprised when it came back together, but the next time up the climb it really fell apart. At the start of the last lap I was with Barnabas (Purbrook) and Lawrence (Carpenter) and we were the three strongest, although there were another six chasing.

We got a good lead on the main road (about 25 seconds) and when we turned into the wind towards Goring I thought we’d stay clear to the finish, but at the bottom of the hill the Nuun Sigma Sport car (providing neutral service) was directly behind us and they were shouting to us that the chasers were nearly on us. As soon as the road kicked up, that’s where I pushed on – I thought- as long as I don’t cramp up, I’ll be OK, but my legs felt good. I was chuffed, because on paper this course is too hilly for me.”

This was his eighteenth win of the season, a score which includes one National A race and seven National B races.

It should be mentioned that, in 2016, when road racing is increasingly being forced onto closed circuits, it is something of a miracle that this excellent race exists. It has arisen from Doug Collins’ determination to resurrect a once great event, followed by the current promoter, Patrick Kavanagh’s vision to create a monument.

The original series of this classic ran from 1951 to 1996, becoming one of the most important races on the calendar with a distinguished list of winners including Brian Wilcher, Dave Bedwell, Les West and Dave Rayner. Revived by Doug as a Surrey League event in 2010, it is returning to its former glory in Patrick’s capable hands, this being his third promotion.

A team of well over fifty helpers turned out to make the race possible, including a large contingent from the Pedal Club, an organisation rarely credited for the important work it does for cycle sport.

First Report

The 21year old Kingston Upon Thames rider Rory Townsend riding for the Pedal Heaven RT was the winner of the latest running of the Victor Berlemont Trophy race after 105 miles of hard racing on the Woodcote circuit in Oxfordshire. The course included eight climbs of the Flint Hill as it weaved around the circuit.


The morning roll out from Woodcote village hall took the riders onto the main road and on to South and South Stoke before coming into Goring, then Flint hill onto Crays Pond before rolling past the HQ at the end of the twelve mile lap. There were some showers and a headwind towards the finish line.

Despite the nature of the rolling course it took a long time for the race to develop a pattern as riders kept jumping of the front before being brought back again into the peloton. The commissaries were kept busy scribbling down number and then rubbing them out as the bunch regrouped time after time. The eight members of the NEG were also kept active.

It took five full laps for a final selection of twenty riders to form on the front as the climb took its toll. With most of the teams with a vested interest in the lead group there wasn’t too much the remainder of the peloton to do.


Thanks Steve

With two laps to go Barnabas Purbrook (London Dynamo) decided he wasn’t waiting and as he crossed the finish line he had pulled out a small gap of 10secs with the group behind now thinning out this was the decisive race move. At the bell Barnabas was joined by Townsend and Lawrence Carpenter (Nunn-Sigma Sport London RT). Behind these three leaders was a group of seven not too far away.

At the finish it was Townsend who had the legs to get over the last climb and hold off Kieran Brady (Richards-Trek RT) by two seconds with Barnabas a further two sends down.

Provisional Results
1 Rory Townsend Pedal Heaven 4hrs 3mins
2 Kieran Brady Richardson-Trek RT @2secs
3 Barnabas Purbrook London Dynamo @4secs
4 Christopher Dredge ASFRA RT
5 Tom Neale Metaltek Kuota RT
6 Oscar Hutchings Primera-TeamJobs
7 J Hales Spirit Bikes RT
8 Lawrence Carpenter Nunn-Sigma Sport-London RT
9 Benjamin Marks Cyckleworks
10 Owen James Catford CC Equipe/Banks




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