The Jock Wadley GP 2017

A CatfordCC Equipe/Banks  Elite Team of Lloyd Chapman, Josh Lawless, Matt Webster, Matt Clements, Josh Green and Laurence Kirby lined up on Sunday for one of the South of England’s two biggest races – The Jock Wadley GP in Essex, such is the standing of this race now that it is on the cusps of becoming a National A race and as such all of the UK Pro teams along with the Continental OnePro team all sent potentially race winning teams. The team rode with a firm plan of trying to get Lloyd Chapman into a race winning small break and all of the team were allocated instructions on not letting any moves go without at least one CatfordCC Equipe/Banks rider in it. The race was fast, riders finished with an average of 45kph for the whole race on their own Garmin computers. In the first part of the race many small breaks tried to go away, with none gaining more than 10 seconds, with all of the pro teams closing down any race winning moves, but every break that went there was at least one if not two CatfordCC Equipe/Banks team members in it. All of the team rode their socks off to be in every move, Matt Webster even put a large lump on his back from a mid-week crash out of his mind and stuck to the task. Laurence Kirby went out the back with a puncture, but came past like a train to get back to the peleton (in the process set a new Strava record for that section of road) and like all of the team rode to the plan. With such a classy field none of the pro teams were letting any gaps go, but then with 3 laps of the 12 to go a final race winning move of 8 riders went clear, it was the first move to gain a considerable gap, it looked like it would stay clear and with three OnePro riders in it they were not hanging about, as they came past the feed station on the hill Matt Clements was sitting firmly in the break and looking good, his job was to mark the move and he was doing this to the letter. The break was still going as they came through for the last lap, with another 5 man group trying to close to the front group, again the move contained one of our team in the shape of Josh Lawless. As they came through it looked like it would go all the way to the finish. We made our way to the finish, but out of sight the race the whole of the Condor JLT pro team went to the front and drilled it with multi Olympic Champion Ed Clancy leading the charge (eventually finishing 4th) to try and bring the break back for their sprinter Graham Briggs, they managed this with 2k to go and it was going to come down to a group sprint of the riders left (inc 5 of the CatfordCC Equipe/Banks team).  The team riders tried to position Lloyd and then there was a big crash with about 1k to go, somehow Josh Lawless and Laurence Kirby managed to go through it while bikes were flying in the air in an attempt to get Lloyd higher up the field, coming into the straight Steele van Hoff (OnePro) and Graham Briggs (JLT Condor) moved clear with Lloyd contesting the sprint where he finished 9th, amongst a really top quality field. This was a great ride by the team, they rode as a unit and all did the job required and all made moves that looked like they might succeed. The augers well for the team, they rode as a well drilled unit and all of the riders came away feeling that they were moving in the right direction and had come through the equivalent of a Prem race making their and the team’s presence felt.

Mike Morgan


16 Mar, 2017