Previews The B-side

2022 Wally Gimber Trophy road race: preview and startlist

Startlist, route, contenders and timings for the 62nd Wally Gimber Trophy road race

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

The national road racing season is now in full swing, at National B level at least. This weekend four national road races take place: the first round of the Scottish National Alba Men’s Road Race Series (the ERC Gifford Road Race), the men’s and women’s editions of the exciting new Peaks 2 Day stage race, and the historic Wally Gimber Trophy road race. This preview focuses on the latter.

What is it?

The Wally Gimber Trophy is a ‘National B‘ road race promoted by Dulwich Paragon, held on the border of East Sussex and Kent. One of the longest-running road races in the UK, this will be the 62nd edition of the race.

The trophy was awarded to the club for presentation at the annual road race by Wally Gimber, a lifelong club member. Wally Gimber was an active Dulwich Paragon member in the 1940s and excelled on the local Herne Hill track. In 1948-9 he was the London centre track, massed start and roller champion and set a national tandem paced half-mile record of 48.55 seconds. He emigrated to the US in the 1960s but returned to the UK in 1985 to present the trophy to John Shand at the club’s 50th anniversary dinner. He kept in regular touch with the club until his death in 1993.

The Wally Gimber Trophy. Photo: Dave Hayward

The race has served as an important early-season race in the UK for over half a century. Past winners include Sir Bradley Wiggins and Alexandar Richardson. Tony Gibb won three times, while Simon Cope and Rob Hurd each won four editions.

In 2021, after a year’s break due to Covid, the race resumed in August at a new course in Tenterden, where Chris McNamara (Nuun – Sigma Sports – London RT) won the trophy after over 20 years of trying.

The route

This year the race takes place between Royal Tunbridge Wells and Bewl Water reservoir on a 20.6 kilometre circuit around Frant, Lamberhurst and Wadhurst. The riders cover the anti-clockwise circuit seven times, with the race covering 144 kilometres in total.

It’s a relatively hilly route with 319 metres of elevation per laps. The descents are fast and wide fast, however, meaning that no hard braking is required anywhere on the corners. The race rolls out from Bells Yew Green for a two-kilometre neutralised section before the flag drops at the start/finish line just before Frant.

It is downhill after Frant until the riders reach Station Hill as the riders approach Wadhurst. At just over a kilometre in length and with gradients reaching nearly 8% in places, this marks an obvious point for breakaway attempts. The road is mainly downhill after Wadhurst until about five kilometres from home, just after Hook Green. From here, the road steadily rises all the way to the circuit’s end. The steepest parts of this drag are just before the finish line, where the road pitches above 8% in the final 200 metres. So expect a real slog of a sprint finish if a small group comes to the line.

Contenders

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

Last update: 19 March 2022

The field might only include four UCI Continental riders but it’s a strong one nonetheless, featuring no less than three of the four 2022 National B road race winners so far.

After their domineering display at the Jock Wadley Memorial last weekend, Le Col is arguably the team to watch. They placed three riders in the top four at the race, including race winner Yanto Barker and second-placed Alex Richardson, both of whom will be closely marked.

Matt King, Red Walters (both Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling), Jake Crossley (Saint Piran) and Rory Townsend (WiV SunGod) are the four UCI Continental riders on the startlist. Matt King – 5th at the Beaumont Trophy last season – is a rider that could go well on this course. And Rory Townsend, a late entrant to the race, needs little introduction. One of the finest domestic riders in recent years, he surely has to be one of the favourites.

Chris McNamara wins the 2021 edition of the race. Photo: Dave Hayward

Seb Garry (Nopinz Motip RT) and Samuel Beckett (Wales Racing Academy) are both in-form riders having won the Evesham Vale and Primavera road races respectively this season. Beckett is second in our national road race rankings, so a good result here could see him move into the lead.

Richardsons-Trek DAS bring a strong squad, including James Jenkins and Conor McGoldrick, two riders we hold in high regard here at The British Continental. Spirit BSS are another team to watch too, with George Kimber our pick of their starters. Defending champion Chris McNamara (Sigma Sports / Cannondale RT) should not be discounted either. Watch out for Matthew Lord (Hart Performance Coaching); he was seventh at the Jock Wadley last weekend so clearly has the shape to go well here too.

Provisional startlist

Startlist as published on 19 March 2022.

NoNameTeam / ClubCat.
1Will Auty4T + Cyclopark2nd
2Jack ReboursCaesarean CC Jersey2nd
3Kevin NelsonCrawley Wheelers Race Team1st
4Morris BaconDAP Cycling ClubElite
5Harley MatthewsDAP Cycling Club1st
6Mark RichardsDAP Cycling Club1st
7Andrew TaylorDAP Cycling ClubElite
8Adam CliftonDulwich Paragon CC2nd
9Maxwell IkinDulwich Paragon CC3rd
10Chris SchieringDulwich Paragon CC3rd
11Stephen MaxwellDulwich Paragon CC2nd
12James Ambrose-ParishEmbark-Bikestrong1st
13David HirdEmbark-Bikestrong1st
14Ryan SavageFinchley Racing Team2nd
15James BoymanHoops Velo1st
16Eliot WardINFLITEElite
17Ole Henrik Bang-AndreasenLe Col2nd
18Yanto BarkerLe Col2nd
19Alexandar RichardsonLe ColElite
20Richard ToddLe Col2nd
21Rowan BakerLondon Dynamo2nd
22Marinus PetersenLoughborough Students CC1st
23Jack FreemanMeudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RTElite
24Matthew HoulbergMeudon Pedal Heaven Le Col RT1st
25Sebastian GarryNopinz Motip Race Team1st
26Nathan HallettNopinz Motip Race Team1st
27Matt WittsNopinz Motip Race Team1st
28Andy CritchlowNorwood Paragon CC1st
29Bradley ShentonPartenza-Nude Espresso RT2nd
30Jacob StoreyPartenza-Nude Espresso RT2nd
31Nicholas TyriePrimera-TeamJobs1st
32Ian VaggProject 512nd
33James GrayRapha Cycling Club2nd
34Rafael HackenbrochRegents Park Rouleurs2nd
35Matthew KingRibble Weldtite Pro CyclingElite
36Red WaltersRibble Weldtite Pro CyclingElite
37James JenkinsRichardsons Trek DASElite
38Conor McGoldrickRichardsons Trek DASElite
39Callum RileyRichardsons Trek DAS2nd
40Luke RyanRichardsons Trek DAS2nd
41Aaron StoneRichardsons Trek DAS2nd
42Jake CrossleySaint Piran1st
43Jordan Retallack05/032nd
44Chris McNamaraSigma Sports / Cannondale RT1st
45Rory BarrettSouthborough & District Wheelers1st
46Keith HendersonSouthborough & District Wheelers2nd
47Joshua AverySpirit BSS1st
48David BollandSpirit BSS1st
49Clay DaviesSpirit BSS1st
50George KimberSpirit BSS1st
51Thomas LowtherSRCT MUC-OFF2nd
52Oliver MaxwellSRCT MUC-OFF1st
53Charles AgerStolen Goat Race Team2nd
54Jack FothergillStolen Goat Race Team2nd
55Oliver HurdleStolen Goat Race Team2nd
56Matthew DownieTAAP Cervelo1st
57Matthew LockTAAP Cervelo1st
58Jamie PullenTAAP Cervelo2nd
59Lucas RowleyTactic Sport UK Race Team2nd
60Kishan BakraniaTBW23 Stuart Hall Cycling2nd
61George PittockThanet RC Race Team2nd
62Samuel ClarktrainSharp Development Team1st
63Finn DuntontrainSharp Development Team2nd
64Torin HendersontrainSharp Development Team2nd
65Harry IvestrainSharp Development Team2nd
66Jacob JamestrainSharp Development Team2nd
67Danylo RiwnyjtrainSharp Development Team2nd
68Casper BrazierTRASH MILE2nd
69William HarperUnattached1st
70Harry JukesUnattached2nd
71James O’ConnellUnattached1st
72Joe HillUpShift Nutrition Race TeamElite
73Leighton Oxley-CrispVelo Schils-Interbike RT2nd
74Dominic SchilsVelo Schils-Interbike RTElite
75Andrea BartoluccioVerulam-reallymoving.com2nd
76Samuel BeckettWales Racing Academy1st
77Benjamin HellaboWheelsuckers2nd
78Joe StauntonWightlinkWight Mountain CRT1st
79Rory TownsendWiV SungodElite
80Jesse YatesYoeleo Test Team P/B 4MIND3rd
81Jack WylieTAAP Cervelo2nd
82Ben WheelerTRASH MILE2nd
83Scott ReddingSRCT MUC-OFF2nd
84Benjamin TappendenPrecise Performance RT2nd
85Matt BaileyHigh Wycombe CC2nd
86Matthew LordHart Performance Coaching 2nd
87James NicholsonTAAP Cervelo2nd
88Len DelicaetDulwich Paragon CC2nd

Timings

The race departs race HQ at 11.00 with the finished expected around 14.45.

Weather

At the time of writing,the forecast suggests the weather should be mild and dry with just a moderate breeze, so the weather is unlikely to be a big factor.

Featured photo: Dave Hayward