Jenkins jumps to take Andrews Trophy victory
Teammate Alexander completes almost perfect homecoming for Richardsons-Trek. Leigh-on-Sea teenager James Jenkins took his first ever road race victory and Southend Wheelers’ Andrews Trophy, with a bold move just 2-kilometres from home (Saturday 15 September).
The 19-year old, who rides for Leigh-on-Sea-based Richardsons-Trek, had been showing strong form prior to the Essex race, having taken a fine 2nd place in Gits, Belgium just a week before.
A small, but quality-packed, field took on the East Hanningfield
course, near Chelmsford. From the gun, the pace was high, averaging
around 44kmh, or 27mph.
Thankfully, there were no injuries to either the competitors, horse or its rider but the incident had split the bunch in half and left some lingering confusion with four laps to go. However, as the race found its rhythm again, Richardsons-Trek remained firmly in control. With one lap to go, George Wood hit out. This forced his opponents to give chase, while Jenkins looked on at close hand.
“It was a pretty grim final 5 kilometres,” James later admitted. “George was softening everyone up by setting a blistering pace. I sat at the back of the bunch, aware that Simon Alexander (Richardsons-Trek) was bridging from the second group over to us. In the last 2 kilometres, the group caught George and at this point I attacked.
“Simon worked his way to the front of the chasers, as I opened up a 20-metre gap. On the final stretch of Pan Lane I was full gas and won by a comfortable margin, with Simon taking 2nd in the dash for the line ahead of Pearce Cycles’ Oliver Richardson,” Jenkins said. Wood held on for a fine 4th, but was clearly disappointed to have missed out on the final podium place.
Southend Wheelers’ trio of rider, Dan Pugh, Chris Smith and Robert Staines found their home race hard going. However, Staines - the youngest rider in the race – showed terrific grit, determination and his potential by completing the course, as others succumbed to the relentless pace.