Startlist: Mark Bell Memorial Race

Sunday, April 1st sees the running of a road race in Essex for a former winner of the GP of Essex, among many other races – Mark Bell – we have dedications to Mark as well as the start list for the race

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Startlist: Mark Bell Memorial Race

Sunday 1st April 2018 — Radwinter Circuit (EA149), Essex

Distance: 109 miles
HQ: Ashdon Village Hall, CB10 2HA
Special Guests: Tony & Michael Bell

Alan Rouse – organiser … Many people have asked me what the connection is between Mark and I and to shed some light on that… I first met Tony Bell at a Dave Rayner dinner many years ago when he was a journalist for amongst others Cycling Weekly. I was very interested in his depth of knowledge about cycling and of course his sense of humour. Many years later I decided to see if he was on social media and luckily he was. We re-established contact and he was polite enough to say he remembered me!

I was interested in the history of the Bell brothers bike racing exploits and the career of Mark. A few years later one of those random thoughts came into my head about Mark and why I had never seen anything to honour his career. After a discussion with Tony, he gave his blessing to me organising a road race in Mark’s memory. I come from Essex and as Mark had history in Essex; a plan was put in place. Tony, Michael and I have been overwhelmed with the support of Mark’s old friends, particularly from the North-West. The kind words written by Steve Cummings and Chris Boardman reflect the esteem Mark was held in. – Alan Rouse
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Tony Bell writes of Mark ““Mark Bell was one of the leading riders of his generation coming to prominence in 1978 when he won more than 30 races including the season long junior Star Trophy series. Over the next eight years he would win two British road championships, the amateur title in 1981 and the professional in 1986, stages in the Milk Race Tour of Britain and several Star Trophy races, the forerunner of the Premier Calendar.”

“Mark was known for his dry sense of humour and caustic wit. In 1985 he was riding the Tour of Delyn, a Pro race in north Wales. He crossed a gap to the two leading riders, catching them just as they approached a large house which had once had a famous owner. As he rode alongside the pair he pointed at the house and said ‘alright lads? Kevin Keegan used to live there. See you later.’ He left them and went on to win the race.”

“During another race, a rider was sitting on the lead group refusing to do a turn. Mark dropped back and said ‘alright mate? Do you like fish? Confused, the rider said ‘Er, yes. Why’. ‘Because there’s a plaice for you at the front, that’s why’ was Mark’s reply, delivered with his usual deadpan expression.

During his amateur career mark travelled all over the world, winning races across Europe and in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.” “Mark turned professional in 1985 after a disappointing performance in the Olympic road race in Los Angeles. Despite winning the British professional championships in his second pro year, and several other races, he became disillusioned with the professional scene and retired in 1988.

He was only 28 and within two years, he was back racing in the amateur ranks where he continued to win races for the next 12 years. Mark died on January 30th, 2009 aged just 48. It’s fitting that his memorial race is taking place in Essex. He often said that his favourite victory was the Grand Prix of Essex which he won in 1983.”

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Steve Cummings: “I first met Mark at a race in Birkenhead Park, I had watched him race for weeks. To me he seemed head and shoulders about everyone else in the race. My first impressions of Mark was that he was quiet and seemed quite moody.

So it took me awhile to pluck up the courage to speak to him. Eventually I spoke to him and he was maybe a bit reserved for a while but me persisting I eventually got his number and stated training with him. I loved training with Mark. He was great company, reliable, and he had a very dry sense of humour. Sometimes I would get home after a ride and start laughing because
I just understood a joke he told me 3 hours earlier, which I did not get at the time.

We went faster than any club run and it was business like. If he said 9:00 he meant 09:00, he would be there in any weather. I remember we rode a lot around the Stone Zoo and Halkyn. We would speak the night before and ‘synchronise watches’ 2 minutes was the allowed waiting time. Mark was and still is one of the few peoples I have ever trained with consistently. We spoke mostly about the bike and he told me so many stories. I could not get enough of his cycling stories.

I asked him so many questions; I am not sure how he put up with me. He put me on a good cycling path, the right path. Simple, hardworking, no bullshit. He was a true cycling friend, I think of him often and I miss him.”

Chris Boardman: When you are training for the Tour de France, it’s pretty hard to find someone wiling -and capable- of riding around the Welsh hills for six hours at a time. Mark was that person. But what I appreciated the most over those long rides, was not his physical ability or his willingness to participate, it was his desire to talk about things other than cycling.

Over the course of a Wednesday outing, we both escaped from our own worlds: politics, natural history, local landmarks, we covered a lot of territory, figuratively and literally. We all know Mark had his demons but these sorties into Wales, Cheshire and beyond were perhaps his most productive way of dealing with this part of his character. I for one appreciated it and I’m glad we had that time together.”

1 Ryan Ashcroft 365 4 Bikes Academy 1st
2 Alfie Kennard Cambridge CC 2nd
3 Tom Elwood Cycle Team OnForm 1st
4 Bailey Wilmot Cycle Team OnForm 2nd
5 Morris Bacon DAP Cycling Club 1st
6 Matthew Exley Flamme Rouge Cycling Team 1st
7 Elliot Haigh Flamme Rouge Cycling Team 2nd
8 William Scott Flamme Rouge Cycling Team 1st
9 Jack Steel-Jessop Flamme Rouge Cycling Team 2nd
10 Ollie Taylor Flamme Rouge Cycling Team 1st
11 Arlen Vartazarian HJL 1st
12 Peter Hitt Hoops Velo 2nd
13 Dominic Schils Java Partizan Pro Cycling Team 1st
14 Edmund Bradbury JLT Condor 2nd
15 Joseph Murray London Dynamo 2nd
16 Isaac Mundy Madison Genesis Elite
17 Tom Bracegirdle Morvelo Basso RT 2nd
18 Ken Buckley Morvelo Basso RT Elite
19 Dante Carpenter Morvelo Basso RT 1st
20 Benjamin Marks Morvelo Basso RT Elite
21 Michael Mottram Morvelo Basso RT Elite
22 Will Ranoe Morvelo Basso RT 2nd
23 Ashley Cox Nopinz Elite
24 Henry Latimer Nuun-Sigma Sports-London 1st
25 Michael Ashurst Onimpex Bio Racer RT 2nd
26 Paul Lally Onimpex Bio Racer RT 3rd
27 Christopher Quin Onimpex Bio Racer RT 3rd
28 Gavin Moore Orwell Velo 2nd
29 Joshua Aiken Pedal Power Cycles Ipswich 2nd
30 Gabriel Fowden Pedal Power Cycles Ipswich 2nd
31 James Hayden Rapha Cycling Club 2nd
32 Matthew Clements Richardsons-Trek RT 1st
33 Frank Longstaff Richardsons-Trek RT Elite
34 Oliver Maxwell Richardsons-Trek RT Elite
35 Thomas Power Richardsons-Trek RT Elite
36 George Wood Richardsons-Trek RT Elite
37 Timothy Allen Spirit Tifosi Racing Team 2nd
38 Douglas Coleman Spirit Tifosi Racing Team 1st
39 Jake Hales Spirit Tifosi Racing Team Elite
40 Stanley Kennett Spirit Tifosi Racing Team 1st
41 Anthony Moye Spirit Tifosi Racing Team 1st
42 Jack Waller Spirit Tifosi Racing Team Elite
43 Joe Swinnerton Swinnerton Cycles 1st
44 Fabian Horrocks TBW Bottechia/Wigmore 1st
45 Kieran Brady Team KTM UK 1st
46 Callum Ferguson Team KTM UK 1st
47 David Kovacs Team KTM UK
48 Fraser Rounds Team KTM UK 1st
49 Joe Charley Team PB Performance 1st
50 Jacques Sauvagnargues Team Wiggins 1st
51 Oliver Richardson Twickenham CC 2nd
52 Joshua Haasz VC Londres 1st
53 Liam Walsh VC St Raphael Elite
54 Alexander Cross VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse 2nd
55 Aled Jones VCEquipe/FlixOralHygiene/Propulse 1st
56 Clay Davies Verulam – 2nd
57 James Hedley-Smith Verulam – 2nd
58 Paul McGrath Verulam – 2nd
59 George Fowler Wheelbase Castelli MGD 1st
60 Tom Fitzpatrick 1st

61 John Mitchell Cambridge CC 3rd
62 Joe Skipper Strada-Sport 3rd





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