Previews

2022 Jock Wadley Memorial road race: preview and startlist

Startlist, route, contenders and timings for the 38th Jock Wadley Memorial road race

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

After the Perfs Pedal road race opened the British road racing season in February, national road races are arriving thick and fast this month. This Sunday (13 March), two National B road races take place, the Evesham Vale road race and the Jock Wadley Memorial. The day before, we’ll see the 60th edition of the treasured Eddie Soens Memorial, a closed-circuit Regional C+ race held at Aintree. And on top of that, three of the British men’s UCI Continental teams, plus Great Britain, will be lining up at the Dorpenomloop Rucphen. It promises to be a busy weekend for men’s domestic teams.

All of these are important races in their own right, but here we focus on the Jock Wadley Memorial which, at 134 kilometres, is the first ‘full length’ road race of the season in the UK.

What is it?

The Jock Wadley Memorial is a ‘National B‘ road race promoted by Colchester Rovers CC. It takes place by Abberton Reservoir in Essex one of Europe’s top wetland sites.

This is the 38th edition of the race, which was created in Jock Wadley’s memory. Wadley was a pioneering cycle racing journalist who helped opened British fans’ eyes to Continental bike racing during his time at publications such as The Bicycle, Sporting Cyclist and International Cycle Sport.

Past editions of the race attracted stellar fields, similar in standard to a modern National Road Series race with UCI Continental teams sending some of their strongest riders to compete. As such, the list of past winners is impressive, including names such as Ben Luckwell, Tony Gibb, Malcolm Elliot, Luke Rowe, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke and two-time winner Steele von Hoff. Another two-time winner is Andy Lyons, now manager of the Richardsons-Trek DAS team; as a home team they should be well motivated to repeat their manager’s feats.

Steele von Hoff (One Pro Cycling) wins the 35th Jock Wadley Memorial in 2017. Photo: Trevor Mould

The route

Starting and finishing by the village of Layer-de-la-Haye, just south of Colchester, the race takes in 12 laps of Abberton Reservoir.

Each lap is 11.4 kilometres long, and takes in just 67 metres of elevation gain. Flat? Yes. Easy? No. With twisty narrow lanes, crosswinds, unrelenting drags, a little kicker under a kilometre from the finish, and 80 riders all raring to go after their off-season, the racing should be fearsome. Expect the bunch to be whittled down steadily on each lap, with a solo win as likely as a reduced bunch sprint.

Contenders

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

Last update: 11 March 2022

With UCI Continental teams competing in Europe this weekend, this year’s field is not as strong as some past editions, but the racing should be no less fierce. In fact, it could well make for a more chaotic, unpredictable affair.

On paper, the strongest team is probably local squad Richardsons-Trek DAS. Our former journal contributor James Jenkins is our pick here. Stolen Goat field a full team of six too, and in defending champion Thomas Heal, they have someone who knows how to win this race.

It is arguably the lone operators that offer the biggest threat. Former-pro Alex Richardson was flying at the Perfs Pedal road race before a slow puncture stymied his chances, and we wouldn’t bet against a solo win for him here.

Zeb Kyffin (Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling) is without teammates but has the firepower to repeat his exploits from the Chitterne Road Race. Tom Portsmouth (Mini Discar Cycling Academy) and Lewis Bulley (Indulek-Doltcini-Dento) are both accustomed to Belgian-style racing and will relish racing in the gutter if the wind blows.

Others to watch include veterans Yanto Barker (Le Col) and Chris McNamara (Nunn-Sigmasports London RT), Jordan Peacock (Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor) and Matthew Houlberg (Meudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT). The latter was seventh at the recent Perfs Pedal race.

Provisional startlist

Startlist as published on 11 March 2022.

#RiderCatTeam/Club
1Tom PORTSMOUTH1Mini Discar Cycling Team 
2Dexter MANSEL-THOMAS2Colchester Rovers CC
3Henry JAMES1Crawley Wheelers RT
4Kevin NELSON1Crawley Wheelers RT 
5Morris BACON1DAP CC
6Harley MATTHEWSEDAP CC
7Andrew TAYLOR1DAP CC
8Mark RICHARDS1DAP CC
9James AMBROSE-PARISH1Embark-Bikestrong
10Tobias DAHLHAUS2Foran CC
11Monte GUERRINI1Foran CC
12Thomas QUAID2Foran CC
13Thomas SPRIGBETT2Foran CC
14Louis DIGANCE2Hart Performance Coaching
15Paul HART2Hart Performance Coaching
16Lewis BULLEYEIndulek-Doltcini-Dento
17William ABBOTT2Inflite
18Sean DAWSON2Inflite
19Preslav DIMITROV2Inflite
20Andrew KERR2Inflite
21Eliot WARDEInflite
22Marcus BURNETT1Kuwait Pro CT
23Matthew CLEMENTS1Kuwait Pro CT
24Ole BANG-ANDREASEN2Le Col
25Yanto BARKER2Le Col
26Richard TODD2Le Col
27Jack FREEMANEMeuden Pedal Heaven Le Col RT
28Matthew HOULBERG1Meuden Pedal Heaven Le Col RT
29Thomas STRINGER1Moonglu CC
30Alexander RICHARDSONENo Club
31James ASHCROFT1Nopinz Motip RT
32Andrew CRITCHLOW1Norwood Paragon CC
33Richard MARDLE2Nunn-Sigmasports London RT
34Chris McNAMARA1Nunn-Sigmasports London RT
35Barnabas PURBROOK1Nunn-Sigmasports London RT
36Zeb KYFFINERibble Weldtite Pro Cycling
37Alex PETERS1Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling
38Samuel ASKER1Richardsons Trek DAS
39Joseph BENNETT2Richardsons Trek DAS
40Jim BRADFORDERichardsons Trek DAS
41Aaron FREEMAN2Richardsons Trek DAS
42James JENKINSERichardsons Trek DAS
43Will SCOTTERichardsons Trek DAS
44Jake CROSSLEY1Saint Piran
45Theodore OBHOLZER1Saint Piran
46Joshua AVERY1Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor
47Frazier CARR1Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor
48Clay DAVIES1Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor
49Oliver HENNESSY2Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor
50Jordon PEACOCK1Spirit Bontrager BSS Rotor
51Oliver MAXWELL1SRCT Muc-Off
52Jake TOWLER2SRCT Muc-Off
53Charles AGER2Stolen Goat Race Team
54Jack FOTHERGILL2Stolen Goat Race Team
55Thomas GRIGSON2Stolen Goat Race Team
56Thomas HEAL2Stolen Goat Race Team
57Peter HITT2Stolen Goat Race Team
58Oliver HURDLE2Stolen Goat Race Team  
59Tiago FOUGO 1Strada2020
60Kishan BAKRANIA2TBW23-Stuart Hall Cycling
61Timothy TORRIE1TBW 23-Stuart Hall Cycling 
62Sophie LEWIS1Team Breeze
63Benedict THOMPSON1Team LDN-Brother UK
64Jody PAXMAN2Team LDN-Brother UK
65Tim ALLEN2Team LDN-Brother UK
66Vaughn PRETORIUS2Team LDN-Brother UK
67Benjamin MAY2Team LDN-Brother UK
68Callam LABORDE            JTofauti Everyone Active
69Joseph SMITHJTofauti Everyone Active
70Casper BRAZIER2Trash Mile
71Robin LLEWELLYN2Trash Mile 
72James SOMERFIELD2Trash Mile
73Ben WHEELER2Trash Mile
74Joe HILLEUpshift Nutrition RT
75Samuel WOODFIELD1Upshift Nutrition RT
76Matthew CARTER2Velo Schils-Interbike
77Leighton OXLEY-CRISP2Velo Schils-Interbike
78Ian PERRY2Velo Schils-Interbike
79Dominic SCHILSEVelo Schils-Interbike 
80Joe STAUNTON1Whitelink/White Mountain CRT 

Reserves

#RiderCatTeam/club
1Matthew LORD2No Club
2Callum BRIGGS2Flanders Color Galloo
3Daniel REES2API Metrow/Body By
4Tom YIANGOU2Athlon CC
5Oliver WOOD2Trainsharp Elite

Timings

The race kicks off at 11.00.

Weather

The weather should be a factor, with light rain and a moderate breeze forecast at the time of writing.

Featured photo:  Ian Wrightson Photography