2023 Jock Wadley Memorial road race: preview and startlist

Startlist, route, contenders and timings for the 39th Jock Wadley Memorial road race

After the first national road race of the season, the Perfs Pedal last month, won by Jack Rootkin-Gray (Saint Piran), the domestic peloton has had to patiently wait until this weekend for more National B road race action.

The actions steps up a level this weekend, however. There are two National B road races, the men’s Jock Wadley Memorial in Essex and the Capernwray road races (one men’s race, one women’s race) in Lancashire. The day before, there is also the 61st edition of the treasured Eddie Soens Memorial, a closed-circuit Regional C+ handicap race held at Aintree that always contains a strong field.

Meanwhile, AT85 Pro Cycling are at the Dorpenomloop Rucphen (1.2) in the Netherlands. It feels like the season is finally getting underway for the domestic teams.

This post previews the long-running Jock Wadley Memorial.

Featured image: HPSource Media / The British Continental. Yanto Barker and Alex Richardson take a 1-2 at the 2022 Jock Wadley Memorial.

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.

Organised by Malcolm Hargreaves of Colchester Rovers CC, this is the 39th edition of the race, 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 BicycleSporting 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.

Yanto Barker in action during the 2022 Jock Wadley Memorial race. Image: HPSource Media / The British Continental

Last year, Yanto Barker (Le Col) – 42 at the time- rolled back the years to take victory, crossing the line with then-teammate Alex Richardson. Both riders are on the provisional startlist for this season’s edition too.

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.


The race begins at 11.00.


The weather should be much warmer than it is currently (snow is falling out the window), but rain is a possibility, and the breeze looks stiff.


The startlist is provisional only, and subject to change.

Saint Piran bring some UCI Continental glamour to a field that is otherwise made up of a contingent of strong elite-level riders. The team have Jack Rootkin-Gray, Harry Birchill, Zeb Kyffin, and Alex Richardson on the provisional startlist: the former three riders took at 1-2-3 at the Perfs Pedal, while Richardson was on fire at this race this time last year. On paper, then, these will be the four to beat. Richardson though is currently training in Tenerife, while Rootkin-Gray has been under the weather, so it’s not clear at this stage if the team will be quite as strong as it looks when it comes to race day.

Jack Rootkin-Gray and Harry Birchill at the Perfs Pedal road race, 12 February 2023. Image: Ian Wrightson/The British Continental

Beyond Saint Piran, the strongest teams are local squad Richardsons-Trek DAS and Embark Spirit BSS. Both have a number of quality riders on the startlist. Richardsons-Trek DAS look particularly well-equipped to get a result, with new signing Alex Peters, a former WorldTour rider, lining up alongside three riders that featured in last year’s top ten: James Jenkins, Sam Asker and Matthew Lord. Under-23 riders Matthew Houlberg and Sam Painter are our picks for the riders most likely to feature at the front of the race for Embark Spirit BSS.

Others to watch? Who would bet against reigning champion Yanto Barker (Le Col) repeating his 2022 win? Former UCI Continental rider Charles Page (ROKIT-SRCT) has a fast finish so could be one to watch if it comes down to a reduced bunch sprint. Rowan Baker (London Dynamo) caught the eye at Perfs Pedal with a 5th, so we’ll be watching to see if he can continue that form.

47-year-old Chris McNamara (Sigma Sports – Cannondale RT) had a brilliantly consistent road season last year, with several top tens in National B road races. At the other end of the age spectrum, Sam Clark (TrainSharp Elite) demonstrated his potential last year with a win at the Yorkshire Under-23 Classic and a top ten at the Ryedale Grasscrete Grand Prix. Can he start 2023 with a bang?

Provisional startlist

Startlist as published on 8 March 2022.

#First nameSurnameTeam
1JamesBentleyA.Fawcett Racing
2MarcusBurnettBrunei Continental Cycling Team
3JohnPallotCasp Racing
4AlexanderBosleyCC Plancoet
5MaxAveryColchester Rovers CC
6MorrisBaconDap Cycling Club
7MarkRichardsDap Cycling Club
8MatthewBrownElite cycling Development Team
9BenjaminFlatauElite cycling Development Team
10JudeChamberlainEmbark Spirit BSS
11IwanEvansEmbark Spirit BSS
12MatthewHoulbergEmbark Spirit BSS
13GeorgeKimberEmbark Spirit BSS
14SamuelPainterEmbark Spirit BSS
15IrfanZamenEmbark Spirit BSS
16RyanSavageFinchley Racing Team
20BenjaminMayHutchinson-Brother UK
21JodyPaxmanHutchinson-Brother UK
23DanielShoobridgeKalas Motip Race Team
24MattWittsKalas Motip Race Team
25YantoBarkerLe Col
26MonteGuerriniLe Col
27RowanBakerLondon Dynamo
28BenChapmanLondon Dynamo
29ArchieHilderLondon Dynamo
30JackJeeLVC Racing
31HaroldEvansOnyx Racing Team
32RossFawcettOrwell Velo
33GaryFreemanOrwell Velo
34WillAutyPrivate Member
35JosephSmithPrivate Member
36FinnDuntonProject 51
37IanVaggProject 51
38IsaacWrightProject 51
39SamualAskerRichardsons Trek DAS
40JamesJenkinsRichardsons Trek DAS
41MatthewLordRichardsons Trek DAS
42AlexPetersRichardsons Trek DAS
43WilliamScottRichardsons Trek DAS
44JoshuaAveryRide Revolution Coaching
45MattBaileyRide Revolution Coaching
46ClayDaviesRide Revolution Coaching
47MattWatsonRide Revolution Coaching
50HarryBirchillSaint Piran
51ZebKyffinSaint Piran
52AlexandarRichardsonSaint Piran
53JackRootkin-GraySaint Piran
54CharlesEmmersonSigma Sports – Cannondale RT
55NielsEmmersonSigma Sports – Cannondale RT
56ChrisMcNamaraSigma Sports – Cannondale RT
57SimonMcNamaraSigma Sports – Cannondale RT
58ThomasHealStolen Goat Race Team
59OliverHurdleStolen Goat Race Team
60CallumSladeStolen Goat Race Team
61LlewellynKinchTAAP Cervelo
62ThomasCharlesTeam PB Performance
63JamesDentTeam PB Performance
64NathanHardyTeam PB Performance
65MarkLightfootTofauti Everyone Active
66DexterMansel-ThomasTofauti Everyone Active
67HarryIvesTrainSharp Development Team
68KyleJonesTrainSharp Development Team
69SamualClarkTrainSharp Elite
70JackReboursTrainSharp Elite
71TimothyTorrieTrainSharp Elite
72LenDelicaetVC Londres
73AlexanderCrossVelo Schils – Interbike RT
74PeterFullerVelo Schils – Interbike RT
75CameronHurstVelo Schils – Interbike RT
76DominicSchilsVelo Schils – Interbike RT
77OliverWoodVelo Schils – Interbike RT
78TomMerryWheelbase Cab Tech Castelli
80FreddyPettWold Top The Edge Pactimo


81LucasJowettSaint Piran
82TimAllenHutchinson-Brother UK
83DanyloRikwnyiTrainsharp Elite
84HarleyMatthewsDap Cycling Club
85ArronFreemanRichardsons Trek
86MatthewClementsPrivate Member

Featured image: HPSource Media / The British Continental.