Road Racing – Background
Road racing is probably the best known of all the competitive cycling
activities, mainly because the Tour de France is a variation of this
type of racing. Competitors start ‘en-masse’ in pre-arranged categories
depending on ability or age. Many races carry ranking points, which are
sought after by riders hoping to progress to the next ability category.
The first rider to cross the line is the race winner. Road Races that
are contested over several days and several stages are called stage
races or tours. These often feature prizes for each stage winner, plus
others for the best sprinter in the race, the best climber (aka King of
the Mountains), the leading team and of course the overall winner, who
is the rider with the best aggregate time. The Tour de France is the
world's most prestigious stage race and lasts for three weeks.
In the UK, events range from Youth and Juvenile (under16) races of 20km
or less, through club level events for adults of between 40km and 100km,
to Elite-level one day or multiple day (stage) races of 200km or more.
Adult racing may take place on public roads, roads closed to other
traffic or on specially constructed circuits. All under-16 racing is on
traffic-free closed circuits. Adult beginners to this discipline can
take part in BC Go-Ride or category 4 events and there are plenty of
events to choose from, just follow the links below to find out more.
To compete in a road race competitors must hold a racing licence which
can be obtained from British Cycling, The League International (TLI) or
The League of Veteran Racing Cyclists (LVRC) depending on age and type
of event. For occasional racers, or for those who just want a ‘taster’,
day licences are available for some events. Each of the above
organisations has a calendar of events on their respective website.
Their rules and age ranges differ slightly; the websites explain the
categories and requirements.
Southend Wheelers holds its own club road race championship every year
with awards for junior, senior, veteran, lady and novice categories. The
2017 championships are scheduled for Sunday June 4th at Hog Hill
(Redbridge Cycle Centre). The club promotes several road races every
year on both open road and closed circuits.
Wikipedia has a fairly comprehensive article, including some history
British Cycling has an informative beginner’s guide
We are fortunate to have four closed circuits within an hour or so of
Southend (traffic permitting!) These are:
Redbridge Cycle Circuit (Hog Hill)
Lee Valley Velo Park (at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park,
• Ford Dunton Test Track (used by Ford Cycling Club and
Other circuits in our region are a bit further afield; there’s a list
Another type of group ride road event is the Sportive (or Cycle
Sportive). These are held on either open or closed roads and with
various distances. Some events are supported with bike service and/or
food, for example while others are not (the cost of entry varies
Sportives are non-competitive, although some organisers will set target
times or speeds for those interested. Details and an event calendar are
on the British Cycling website (see above) and advertised widely in the
cycling press or through online retailers such as Evans and Wiggle. Some
are family orientated events and offer shorter/easier rides for the
younger participants. The Southend Wheelers Burnham & Baddow Challenge
is an unsupported sportive-style event which will take place in February
2017 (weather permitting).
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
2017 Southend Wheelers Club Hosted Events and
Sunday 4th June
Southend Wheelers Club Road Race Championships
Southend Wheelers Track Championship
Sunday 30th July
Southend Wheelers Over The Hill Criteriums+ (LVRC)
Sunday 12th August
Southend Wheelers Criteriums
Redbridge Cycle Centre
Andrews Trophy Road Race
08:30 East Hanningfield Village Hall
here for the ERRL Road Race Rules.
Click here for a list of
trophy winners from the Southend Wheelers Archives