Southend Wheelers Cycling Club Road Racing

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.

Reference
Wikipedia has a fairly comprehensive article, including some history here
British Cycling has an informative beginner’s guide here

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, Stratford)
Cyclopark Gravesend
• Ford Dunton Test Track (used by Ford Cycling Club and LVRC)

Other circuits in our region are a bit further afield; there’s a list here:

Related activities
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 accordingly!).
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 roadracing@southendwheelers.org for further information.

2017 Southend Wheelers Club Hosted Events and Championships

Date Type Event Venue
Sunday 4th June Road Race Southend Wheelers Club Road Race Championships Hog Hill
Sunday 16th July Track Southend Wheelers Track Championship Herne Hill
Sunday 30th July Road Race Southend Wheelers Over The Hill Criteriums+ (LVRC) Hog Hill
Sunday 12th August Road Race Southend Wheelers Criteriums
Redbridge Cycle Centre
Hog Hill
Sunday 10th September Road Race Andrews Trophy Road Race
08:30 East Hanningfield Village Hall
Hanningfield

 

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Click here for the ERRL Road Race Rules.
Click here for a list of trophy winners from the Southend Wheelers Archives

 

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