Joe Staunton travelled to Layer De La Haye, near Colchester, for the prestigious ‘Jock Wadley Memorial Race’ last Sunday (13th March).
The Wadley Memorial is a 135km National B road race around the Abberton Reservoir: a predominantly flat course with exposed windy sections, technical descents and small kickers.
Joe was up against a strong line up of top UK domestic and former World Tour professionals along with some very talented Juniors, all vying to join the ranks of previous winners such as Luke Rowe, Malcolm Elliott, and Andy Lyon.
This was Joe’s first road race of the season, and he was conservative for the 1st hour, intending to pace himself for the 3.5-hour race. However, a huge crash split the peloton in half with a few breakaways making it off the front.
Joe got away from the bunch with elite rider Elliott Ward (Team Inflite) in a chase for an hour and thought they were clear and dry to the finish. However, with only 2 laps to go, professional rider, Zeb Kyffin (Ribble Weldtite) put in a huge turn on the front of the chasing group and single-handedly brought them back. Joe finished with a small group off the front and came home in a creditable 21st place with the top spots going to former professional Yanto Barker and professional Alex Richardson.
Joe said after the race:
“I’m really happy with my condition in this first bunch race of the season, and it’s great to have form again in these big races after a difficult 2021, which was plagued by illness and misfortune.”
Joe is looking forward to racing again later this month in the March Hare Spring Classic’ criterium (one of the former winners being Tour de France victor Sir Bradley Wiggins) and the ‘Wally Gimber’ road race.
Photo courtesy of @hpsourced, The British Continental and NE Sports Photography
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