Features Reports

2023 Perfs Pedal road race: report and results

Jack Rootkin-Gray wins the opening race of the domestic road racing season, 12 February

Saint Piran dominated the opening national road race of 2023, with Jack Rootkin-Gray leading home a 1-2-3 at the Perfs Pedal road race. 

Featured image: Ian Wrightson / The British Continental. Jack Rootkin-Gray (Saint Piran) wins the 58th Perfs Pedal road race.


The Perfs Pedal road race is infamous for its torrid weather conditions, but it was a mild, overcast day that greeted the riders as they arrived at the D-Day Memorial Hall in Southwick to sign on for the 58th edition. Five laps of the lumpy Portsdown Hill circuit awaited the riders, before a half lap of the Hundred Acre circuit to the uphill drag to the finish line.

The peloton in the early stages of the race. Image: Ian Wrightson / The British Continental

The early laps were cagey, but on lap three the first serious move had gone clear as the riders passed Fort Nelson at the top of Portsdown Hill.

The break was a youthful group of five consisting of juniors Angus Stoneham (17) and Matthew Cole (18, both Zappi Junior Race Team), Benjamin Bright (19) of the Wales Racing Academy, and the relatively experienced Jack Crook (23) and Conor McGoldrick (25, both Richardsons Trek DAS).

The early move of five. Image: Ian Wrightson / The British Continental

In pursuit of the quintet were the Saint Piran duo of Jack Rootkin-Gray and Harry Birchill, with Rowan Baker (London Dynamo) and Ollie Hurdle (Stolen Goat).

The moves ended up coming back together but then towards the end of the third lap, Birchill, Baker and Crook went clear again with a group of around six riders. Rootkin-Gray bridged across, as did his teammate Zeb Kyffin.

Rootkin-Gray then pressed on, whittling the group down to just him, Kyffin, Birchill, Baker and Crook. With three in the lead, it was advantage Saint Piran.

The final five. Image: Image: Ian Wrightson / The British Continental

“We rode together hard into the winds,” Rootkin-Gray said of the move after the race. Behind, the Zappi Junior Racing Team were among those who tried to coordinate a chase, but were left frustrated by a lack of cooperation in the peloton.

As the lead group’s lead increased, the Saint Piran riders then sought to take advantage of their numerical superiority.

“As the race progressed we started to attack as a team, countering each other and making the other two work,” explained Rootkin-Gray. “In the end, we managed to engineer it that it was just us three away. First the London Dynamo guy got dropped. Then Jack Crook was pulling a long turn while Harry was solo after various attacks from all of us. Then Zeb and I jumped across to Harry just before the left turn to the finishing climb.”

It was clear at this stage that a Saint Piran rider would take the win, but who would it be?

“We hadn’t discussed who was going to win or anything. We just left it open to racing it down. Harry opened up the sprint first, and then I just came round him to take the win.”

Jack Rootkin-Gray (Saint Piran) wins the 58th Perfs Pedal road race. Image: Ian Wrightson / The British Continental

Kyffin finished third to complete a 1-2-3 for Saint Piran, with Crook fourth and Baker fifth. Last year’s winner Damien Clayton (Embark Spirit BSS) took ninth, while Stoneham was the top-placed junior in tenth.

Talking points

  • Jack Rootkin-Gray has started the season as he ended 2022: on fire. Last year he ended the season with 2nd at the Ryedale GP, a strong showing in the Tour of Britain, 2nd at the Ryedale GP, a win at the GP Eugeen Roggeman pro kermesse before capping it off with a victory at the Beaumont Trophy. If his performance at the Perfs Pedal is anything to go by then he could be one to watch in his first UCI road races of the year (Grand Prix Criquielion (1.1) and  Grand Prix de la Ville de Lillers Souvenir Bruno Comini (1.2).
  • Rowan Baker (London Dynamo) was not a name we were familiar with before this race, but judging by his 5th place at Perfs, together with his 2022 performances, the 20-year-old could be one to watch in 2023. Like Rootkin-Gray, he ended 2022 strongly, with 5th at the Roy Hillman Memorial Road Race (won by Rootkin-Gray no less) and then 19th in his first National Road Series, the Beaumont Trophy. An excellent string of results for a club rider who only began racing in 2021.
  • Perfs is often a race where junior riders can shine against some of the top domestic riders and the 2023 edition was no exception. Angus Stoneham and Matthew Cole – both second-year juniors – shone in the early break, with Stoneham bagging 10th in the end. But it was their teammate Finlay Hawker, still only 16, who perhaps stole the junior limelight with an impressive 11th place, crossing the line at the same time as Stoneham.


1st67Jack Rootkin-GraySaint Piran 45:11.1
2nd9Harry BirchillSaint Piran 45:14.6+00:03.49
3rd46Zeb KyffinSaint Piran 45:18.2+00:07.08
4th19Jack CrookRichardsons Trek DAS 45:33.2+00:22.14
5th5Rowan BakerLondon Dynamo 45:39.1+00:28.01
6th82George WoodCycling Sheffield 46:22.1+01:11.02
7th28Jordan GilesPrimera-TeamJobs 46:23.8+01:12.68
8th11Benjamin BrightWales Racing Academy 46:25.0+01:13.86
9th1Damien ClaytonEmbark Spirit BSS 46:30.8+01:19.69
10th73Angus StonehamZappi Junior Race TeamY46:52.9+01:41.81
11th32Finlay HawkerZappi Junior Race TeamY46:53.4+01:42.27
12th49Conor McGoldrickRichardsons Trek DAS 46:56.2+01:45.11
13th22Cai DaviesKalas Motip Race Team 46:57.2+01:46.08
14th45Seth JonesBackstedt Bike Performance JRTY46:57.4+01:46.26
15th55Chris OpieLe Col 46:57.6+01:46.48
16th8James BevantrainSharp Elite 46:57.8+01:46.75
17th54Cormac NisbetZappi Junior Race TeamY46:58.1+01:46.99
18th33Angus HawkinsRide Revolution Coaching 46:58.7+01:47.61
19th3Will Auty  46:58.9+01:47.79
20th57Samuel PainterEmbark Spirit BSS 46:59.0+01:47.94
21st64Jack RebourstrainSharp Elite 46:59.1+01:47.97
22nd25Finn DuntontrainSharp Development Team 46:59.2+01:48.08
23rd18Matthew ColeBeeston Cycling ClubY46:59.3+01:48.22
24th69Sam Shepherd05-Mar 46:59.5+01:48.43
25th90Ben BarnettTeam Novo Disc Development 46:59.9+01:48.77
26th21Spencer DaviesWales Racing Academy 47:00.9+01:49.80
27th50Fred MeredithWales Racing Academy 47:01.3+01:50.25
28th13Huw Buck JonesWales Racing Academy 47:01.4+01:50.29
29th59Marinus PetersonKalas Motip Race Team 47:01.7+01:50.58
30th4Matt BaileyRide Revolution Coaching 47:02.2+01:51.08
31st83Isaac WrightProject 51 47:02.3+01:51.20
32nd53Robin MouldForan CCC 47:02.9+01:51.82
33rd38Sam HolwilltrainSharp Development Team 47:03.5+01:52.46
34th17Harry CoddCero – Cycle Division Racing TeamY47:04.6+01:53.47
35th52Calum MoirZappi Junior Race TeamY47:04.7+01:53.57
36th26Max FlemingLAKA Pedal Mafia RT 47:04.7+01:53.61
37th43Will JewittKalas Motip Race Team 47:04.9+01:53.81
38th35Benjamin HelleboWheelsuckers 47:05.5+01:54.45
39th70George SmithPrimera-TeamJobs 47:06.1+01:54.99
40th89Edward CharlesBackstedt Bike Performance JRTY47:06.2+01:55.12
41st20Jack CutsforthSPATZWEAR 47:06.6+01:55.53
42nd81Oliver Winwood BratchellPrimera-TeamJobs 47:07.0+01:55.93
43rd60Vaughn PretoriusTeam LDN – Brother UK 47:08.3+01:57.24
44th75Rhys ThomasBackstedt Bike Performance JRTY47:09.7+01:58.60
45th71James SomerfieldTRASH MILE 47:11.5+02:00.37
46th42Dom JacksonForan CCC 47:11.8+02:00.68
47th29Joe GriffithsSCOTT Racing 47:12.3+02:01.19
48th85Theo AndersonChippenham & District WhsY47:13.9+02:02.81
49th78Dean WatsonEmbark Spirit BSS 47:15.9+02:04.77
50th68Dave RoperKalas Motip Race Team 47:16.6+02:05.53
51st61Thomas PriceReflex Racing 47:20.4+02:09.31
52nd58Alex Paton  47:41.2+02:30.11
53rd84Irfan ZamanEmbark Spirit BSS 47:43.9+02:32.78
54th76Benjamin TuchnerTEKKERZ CC 48:18.4+03:07.29
55th74Joseph SurmonUniversity of Bristol CC 52:32.1+07:21.00
56th79Felix WhetterMid Devon CC 52:32.6+07:21.49
57th65Daniel ReesAPI-Metrow/Bodyby JR 52:34.4+07:23.33
58th7Paul BarnardPrecise Performance RT 52:34.6+07:23.53
59th80Conor WilliamstrainSharp Development Team 52:35.5+07:24.38
60th47Isaac Lawrence05-Mar 52:36.5+07:25.41
61st24Gabriel DellarStolenGoat Race Team 53:11.5+08:00.36
DNF56Sebastian OttleyRacing Club Ravenna 
DNF34Danny HedleyRoyal Air Force CA 
DNF44Harry JohnsonVC St Raphael 
DNF6Luke BarfootPrimera-TeamJobs 
DNF14Max BuftonTofauti Everyone ActiveY
DNF48Olivier ManghamTEKKERZ CC 
DNF36Archie HilderLondon Dynamo 
DNF87Oscar PrattSaint Piran Development 
DNF39Matthew HoulbergEmbark Spirit BSS 
DNF27Gary FreemanOrwell Velo 
DNF2Fletcher AdamsLAKA Pedal Mafia RT 
DNF72Joe StauntonPrimera-TeamJobs 
DNF41Oliver HurdleStolenGoat Race Team 
DNF91Matt Thompson Y
DNF51George MitchellForan CCC 
DNS10Alexander BosleyCC Plancoet 
DNS15Lucas ByamKalas Motip Race Team 
DNS66Alexandar RichardsonSaint Piran 
DNS16Thomas CharlesTeam PB Performance 
DNS30Zackary HamonBig Maggys 
DNS23Thomas DayPrimera-TeamJobs 
DNS86Richard ToddLe Col 
DNS37Joe HillEmbark Spirit BSS 
DNS88Oliver MastersSouthboro & District WhsY
DNS40Dylan Humber-KellyYoeleo Test Team P/B 4MIND 
DNS77Jacob VaughanSaint Piran 
DNS63Thomas QuaidForan CCC 
DNS12James BrownUniversity of Bristol CC 
DNS62Milo PurvisPaceline RT 
DNS31Tyler HannayCC Etupes 

Huge thanks to Anna McEwen for helping to convert the results into a format we could use for the website!