Report & Result: Victor Berlemont Trophy

Liam Walsh (VC St. Raphael – Waites Contracts) triumphed at the finish of a super hard 108 miles, outsprinting the other three survivors of the near race long break in the Victor Berlemont Trophy

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Report & Result: Victor Berlemont Trophy
(thanks Chris Lovibond)

Liam Walsh (VC St. Raphael – Waites Contracts) triumphed at the finish of a super hard 108 miles, outsprinting the other three survivors of the near race long break. The finish on this Woodcote course comes shortly after the steep climb of Flint Hill where, Walsh said, “natural selection” had taken place.

At this distance, with nine ascents of a long gradient (about ten percent) the race was never going to be easy, but heavy rain throughout increased the riders’ difficulties. There were so many punctures that the service cars ran out of wheels – the victims included Mottram, who did well to get back to that break. Some were demoralised by the cold, and the Commissaire, who had positioned himself behind the main peloton, was eventually forced to concede that this bedraggled group was no longer racing and left them in order to catch up those chasers who were still active.

The winning break had developed at the end of the first lap and although there were several brave attempts to bridge from the main field, the top placings were already out of these pursuers’ reach. The break, initially ten riders, consisted of Michael Mottram (Morvelo Basso RT), Chris McNamarra (Nuun Sigma Sport), Rupert Graham (Spirit Tifosi RT), Oliver Hayward (Rhino Velo RT), Thomas Power (Richardsons Trek), Felix Barker (ActiveEdge RT), Jordan Peacock (Spirit Tifosi), James Boyman and, of course, Walsh himself.

The race radio told us regularly that the break was working well and the winner confirmed this, saying that once the break had formed everyone in it worked smoothly together with no one attacking until about six kilometres to go, when Oliver Hayward went off on his own. Knowing that the big climb was close no one was prepared to commit to chasing him, which proved to be the correct decision since the four strong men who had dropped their companions on the climb swept past Hayward as Walsh opened up a longish sprint at the top of the last little dip before the finish.
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At the H.Q. Liam Walsh said this was his fifth and best season, but his ambition for next year was to be better still. He was pleased to be able to win as a club rider, and the VC St. Raphael is a proper cycling club in the old sense: it’s certain many readers will agree with this.

Michael Mottram would clearly have liked to win this race as it is a local event for him. A mile eater, he says he normally does “600 to 700 kilometres a week”. He is a former rower who came over to cycling in 2013 and his intention next year is to win a Premier Calendar or National ‘A’ race and to compete abroad; ambitions which on the basis of this performance look perfectly possible.

Rupert Graham is another ex-oarsman who says he is in his first ‘proper’ season of cycling. He felt he had had a lucky break by being accepted for the Spirit Tifosi race team, but it now looks as though there was luck on both sides. Ironically he came to cycling as a result of being knocked off his bike – the injuries caused an enforced lay off after which he felt it would have been difficult to get back into rowing at his previous (national) level. Relatively young at twenty five, he could go on to great things in this new discipline.

Mention must be made of the great efforts of the race organiser Patrick Kavanagh, and the sixty volunteers who all had to spend their Sunday getting soaking wet. Finally a special vote of thanks to Thames Water who went to great lengths to repair a water leak on the course – without them there would have been no race.


1 Liam Walsh VC St Raphael 04:25:30
2 Michael Mottram Morvelo Basso RT ”
3 Rupert Graham Spirit Tifosi Racing Team ”
4 James Boyman Hoops Velo ”
5 Oliver Hayward Rhino Velo Race Team ”
6 William Bjergfelt Team Tor 2000 KALAS 00:00:42
7 Chris McNamara Nuun-Sigma Sports-London 00:00:42
8 Samuel Woodfield ActiveEdge Race Team 00:04:40
9 Matt Langworthy Saint Piran 00:05:57
10 Alexander Cross VC Meudon 00:05:57
11 Frazier Carr Spirit Tifosi Racing Team 00:06:45
12 Oliver Bates Team Botrill – Vanguard 00:07:20
13 Nicholas Cooper ActiveEdge Race Team 00:07:20
14 George Smith Tri UK 00:07:20
15 Jordan Peacock Spirit Tifosi Racing Team 00:07:35
16 John Mulvey ActiveEdge Race Team 00:09:10
17 Andrew Kirby VC St Raphael 00:09:20
18 Ross Holland Cheltenham & County CC 00:09:20
19 Timothy Allen Spirit Tifosi Racing Team 00:15:00
20 Oliver Hucks High Wycombe Cycling Club 00:15:00
21 Joe Hill Team KTM UK 00:15:45
22 Josh Copley TBW23 Stuart Hall Gett Taxi +1 Lap
23 Gregory Fitzek ZeroBC +1 Lap
24 Andrew Turner Team KTM UK +1 Lap
25 Shaun Cook Bristol RC +1 Lap
26 Ben Manfield-Yorke Morvelo Basso RT +1 Lap

Lap 6 Michael Mottram Morvelo Basso RT
Lap 4 Jordan Peacock Spirit Tifosi Racing Team
Lap 2 Michael Mottram Morvelo Basso RT

Combative Jordan Peacock Spirit Tifosi Racing Team



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