Last updated on June 26th, 2023 at 02:03 PM
Kate Allan (Team Bottrill) defends her women’s title won last year in the Northeast. Hayley Simmonds (AWOL O’Shea) will be a likely challenger to Allan.
Hayley was out for most of last year after surgery to correct an iliac artery issue and will be more than ready to chase the 50 title. In last week’s British Cycling TT championship, Hayley beat Kate by 12 secs in 7th & 9th place respectively.
Simmonds won the 50-mile title in 2014. Other riders looking to contest for the podium include in-form Emily Martin (Team Bottrill), who finished 10th at the British Cycling Championships behind Hayley and Kate, and Alex Clay (Team Bottrill) who won a 50-mile event outright a few weeks ago.
There are 9 women from Essex clubs amongst the 34-rider field. The women start after the men’s race.
The champions elect in the Men’s championship are John Archibald (HUUB-Wattshop) Adam Duggleby (ADDFORM – Vive le Velo) and making a welcome return to domestic racing after finishing his World Tour career last year is Alex Dowsett (NoPinz), racing in his home county.
Previously a multi-junior RTTC champion and twice the CTT Circuit TT Champion in 2011/12, Alex should draw the fans to Writtle to see if a London Marathon race earlier this year has hindered his TT speed. The last National 50 he did was in 2005 when he was only 15 years old and finished 22nd.
John Archibald has been completely untouchable in the Merlin Cycles TT series so far this year and was 6th in the BC British TT champs this week against very strong world tour opposition. The last time John and Alex raced each other was the 2020 CTT National 25, where Archibald came out on top.
Chris Fennell (The Independent Pedaler – Nopinz), the men’s champion in the last two years is not defending his title, so a new champion will be celebrated out of a 100-rider field.
There are two previous winners of the annual Norman Wells 50, which is incorporated in the National Championship, Colin Ward (Essex Roads CC) a 3-time winner and last year’s winner David Halliday (Team Bottrill).
More used to a road race start line, the local Richardson’s-Trek team have Jack Crook, James Jenkins, Aaron Freeman and Simon Alexander entered. There are 24 riders entered from Essex clubs and teams.
The promoting club Southend Wheelers have Jan Harvey Burns, Denise Kemp, John Paul Paduano, James Lonergan and Henry O’Kill entered, who have the extra incentive that the Club’s 50-mile championship is incorporated in the event, which puts another trophy up for a win, and the oldest trophy the club has, the Founders 50-mile cup first raced for in 1924.
Broadcaster and journalist Michael Hutchinson (and 13 times National 50 champion and 1 x Norman Wells 50 winner) is the MC & host for the events and will announce the medal winners and the women’s and men’s individual and team champions.
Former RTTC/CTT National 50-mile champions and 50-mile record holders Norman Wells 50 winners have been invited to the event.
The first champion that was invited is Southend Wheeler Pete Jackson, the old living men’s champion at 96. He won his title 70 years ago in 1953, when riding for Dixie Wheelers.
Previous champions who have won their “50” title in Essex are – 1956 Mick Ward Haverhill Wheelers – 1966/69/77 Beryl Burton OBE Morley CC – 1977 Phil Griffiths GS Strada – 1988 Mick Bradshaw GS Metro & Margaret Allen Barnsley RC – 1999 Richard Prebble Team Clean.
Visit the Cycling Time Trials website for all pre-race information and start sheets: https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/race-details/25016
And check out https://www.southendwheelers.org/cttnational50milechampionships to download the travel advice and the race programme.