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2022 Perfs Pedal road race: race preview and startlist

A look at the first national road race of 2022

The B-side: a closer look at National B road racing

The road racing season may have begun in Europe, but here in the UK, the first sniff of UCI road racing won’t happen until the Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic on 24 April. Thankfully, national-level road racing will begin soon with the first National B road race of the year: the Perfs Pedal. In anticipation of this landmark, here is a quick look at the route, the race history, the startlist and the contenders.

What is it?

The Perfs Pedal road race is a ‘National B‘ road race promoted by VC St Raphael. Taking place near Portsmouth in the south of England, it is the traditional opener to the domestic road racing season. This will be the first time the race has run since 2019. An important early-season marker of fitness, it normally attracts a strong field, including many domestic Continental-level riders, and this year is no different. 

The route

The race is a short, punchy affair at 74 kilometres (46 miles). Starting in Southwick, the race begins with five laps of a lumpy 13.6 km circuit around Portsdown Hill, which has a maximum gradient of 10.6 %.

The race then switches off the main circuit at Staple Cross Road to finish on the Lodge Hill climb, with the finish line placed just beyond the top of this final drag. The climb has a steep section towards the bottom – reaching nearly 15% in places, but continues to drag upward, making it a hard slog to the finish line. Local rider Red Walters holds the current Strava KOM for the climb.

The race is normally fast, furious and challenging enough that a solo win or a small group sprint can be expected.

History

Created by Mick Waite, who still runs the race, the first edition of the Perfs Pedal road race took place in July 1964, won by Tony Mills. The race moved to an early-season slot the following year where it has stayed ever since. 

Given its position in the calendar, the weather has often been a key feature of the race. Ice and snow has been a frequent obstacle for the riders. And in the 1990s, mild, wet winters meant that flooding was a problem. The 2003 edition was cancelled by the local police because of what organiser Mick Waite described as a ‘puddle’. Poor road conditions have also hampered the race, resulting in the cancellation of the 2010 and 2014 editions. The 2020 edition was also cancelled because of forecasts of strong winds and heavy rain.

Alex Paton wins the 2018 Perfs Pedal race. Photo: Hugh McManus

The race has a long list of illustrious winners. Ian Hallam, Dave LeGrys, Chris Newton, Sean Yates, Tim Harris and Alex Dowsett have all won the race. The last four editions of the race have been won by Tim Elverson’s teams: Rory Townsend won in 2016 (when the team was called Pedal Heaven), Chris Opie in 2017 (for Bike Channel Canyon), Alex Paton took the honours in 2018 (for Canyon Eisberg), while Jacob Vaughan (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) was the most recent victor.

Contenders

At the time of writing, the startlist is provisional only, and subject to change.

Last update: 13 February 2022

WiV SunGod have dominated the race in recent times – it’s an important local race for team boss Tim Elverson – and as the only UCI Continental team represented, they will be the favourites to take the win for the fifth time in a row. All four two of their riders – Jim Brown, Josh Whitehead, Damien Clayton (second in 2019) and Euan MacLeod – are contenders in their own right.

Former WiV SunGod rider Alex Paton, winner of the race in 2018, is a fascinating inclusion on the startlist. He officially retired from racing at the end of 2020 but, if in shape, clearly has the pedigree to win this race.

Junior rider Joshua Tarling (FlandersColor Galloo) had an outstanding 2021, finishing third in the Otley Grand Prix on junior gears, winning the junior CiCLE Classics at the first time of asking and winning his first junior UCI road race. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if he is well in the mix for the win. Unfortunately, injuries picked up at a crash at the Manchester velodrome means he has had to withdraw from the race.

2021 HSBC UK National Men’s Circuit Series – The Property Development Men’s Otley Grand Prix – Otley, Yorkshire, England – Joshua Tarling of FlandersColor Galloo. Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Elite teams Nopinz Motip RT, Primera-TeamJobs, and Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor all field full teams of six riders and will be looking to make their numerical advantage count. Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor rider Jordan Peacock was fourth in the 2019 edition, so has form in this race.

Elsewhere in the field, there are plenty of individuals who could challenge for a result. Richardsons-Trek DAS’ new signing Conor McGoldrick took no less than six wins at National B level last season, including a superb solo win at the Holohan Coaching Road Race. Cycling Sheffield’s George Wood is one of those; he took National B road race wins last year, including the Spokes RT Scottish Road Race. Wales Racing Academy’s William Roberts won the Sunderland round of the Tour Series last year, indicating he is capable of a win a fast, aggressive race like this.

Late additions to the race Alex Richardson and Yanto Barker are also both possible winners.

Provisional startlist

Startlist as published on 31 January 2022. Updated 2 and 13 February 2022.

#NameTeamCat
1Alex PatonBC PME
2Dylan HicksBackstedt Bike Performance RT2J
3Euan WoodliffeBackstedt Bike Performance RT2J
4Edward HopkinsBCC RT2J
5Jamie BrownBCC RT2J
6Lewis HolmesBCC RT2J
7James BevanBikestrong KTM1
8Jack ReboursCaesarean CC Jersey2J
9Harry JohnsonCC Plancoetin1
10George WoodCycling Sheffield1
11Declan HudsonDolan Ellesse RT1
12Jack CrookDolan Ellesse RT1
13Joshua TarlingFlandersColor Galloo1J
14Griff LewisFlandersColor Galloo2J
15Lucas JowettFlandersColor Galloo2J
16Jacob SchnabelMeudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT2
17Dylan Humber-KellyJRC Interflow RT2J
18William JewittJRC Interflow RT2
19Ethan BrowneJRC Interflow RT2
20Richard ToddLe Col2
21Jack FreemanMeudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RTE
22Matthew HoulbergMeudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT1
23Felix WhetterMid Devon CC2J
24Samuel ClarkNetlar Telecom-Ale1
25Travis BramleyNopinz Motip RT1
26Daniel ShoebridgeNopinz Motip RT1
27Cameron McLarenNopinz Motip RT1
28James AshcroftNopinz Motip RT1
29Matt WittsNopinz Motip RT1
30George FowlerNopinz Motip RT2
31Andrew CritchlowNorwood Paragon1
32Chris McNamaraNunn-Sigma Sport-London RT1
33George SmithPrimera-TeamJobsE
34Luke BarfootPrimera-TeamJobs1
35Nicholas TyriePrimera-TeamJobs1
36Jordan GilesPrimera-TeamJobs1
37Samuel WadsleyPrimera-TeamJobs2
38Ashley NewmanPrimera-TeamJobs2
39Ian VaggProject 512
40Adam CotterellProject 512
41Michael WeaversProject 512
42Conor McGoldrickRichardsons Trek DasE
43Aaron FreemanRichardsons Trek Das2
44Rory BarrettSouthborough & District Wh1
45Keith HendersonSouthborough & District Wh2
46Michael MottramSpectra Wiggle P/B VitusE
47Jordan PeacockSpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor1
48Joshua AverySpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor1
49Angus HawkinsSpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor1
50Thomas PriceSpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor2
51Farley BarberSpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor2
52Joshua PriceSpirit Bontrager BSS Rotor2
53Lucas RowleyTactic Sport UK RT2
54Jack FothergillTeam Jewson MI Racing2
55Jude ChamberlainTeam Jewson MI Racing2J
56Jack DylanTeam Tor 2000 Kalas2
57Steven JonesTeam Tor 2000 Kalas1
58Noah HobbsTekkerz CC2J
59Joshua GollikerTrainSharp DT2J
60Jacob JamesTrainSharp DT2
61Harry IvesTrainSharp DT2
62Torin HendersonTrainSharp DT2
63Joe HillUpshift Nutrition RTE
64Oliver ManghamVC Londres2J
65Conor WilliamsVC Londres2J
66Anthony MorrisVC Londres2J
67Thomas CaineVC Meudon2J
68Felix TuckVC Meudon2J
69Matthew GilmourVC Venta3J
70Oliver HurdleStolen Goat RT2
71Thomas HealStolen Goat RT2
72Thomas GrigsonStolen Goat RT2
73Joe HoltWales Racing AcademyE
74Harvey McNaughtonWales Racing Academy1
75William RobertsWales Racing Academy1
76Toby ManningWessex RC2
77Damien ClaytonWiV SungodE
78Jim BrownWiV Sungod1
79Josh WhiteheadWiV Sungod1
80Euan MacleodWiV Sungod2
81George GrayZ Junior RT2J
82William SmithZ Junior RT2J
83Calum MoirZ Junior RT2J
84Rory KnowlesZ Junior RT2J
85Oliver AkersZ Junior RT3J
    
 Reserves  
86Luke GoodwillVC Londres3J
87Monte GuerriniForan CC2
88Max FlemingUniversity of Reading2
89Joseph SurmonUniversity of Bristol CC3
90David RoperNopinz Motip DT2
91Gabriel DellarSouthampton University RC3

Timings

The race kicks off at 11.00 and is expected to finish not long after 13.00.

Weather

The forecast looks typically grim. Strong winds and rain look set to make this edition a real hardman’s race.

Featured photo: Phil O’Connor. Jacob Vaughan wins the 2019 edition of the race.