James Jenkins & Simon Alexander
1-2 for Richardsons-Trek at Andrews Trophy Road Race

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.
With three laps completed, a select group formed of eight riders, including Jenkins and teammate George Wood from Canvey Island. However, such was the speed that by midway, three riders had been dropped. It was also at this point that the race took a dramatic turn, after a horse was spooked by the approaching peloton.
“Going into Howe Green, we passed the horse with no problem,” explained Jenkins, “But it was the bunch behind us that had the issues.”
“There were bodies everywhere,” explained Richardsons-Trek’s Matthew Clements. “The officials had neutralised the race, as the horse was initially being ridden on the road but the rider then took it down what looked like a long driveway or bridal path. We all started to brake and change down the gears, but I think the sound and speed at which we approached spooked the horse and it just leapt back out in front of us. One guy went over the bars and there were others in a ditch but thankfully, no real harm was done.”

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.

 


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