An event ran in memory of the late Alex Jones, who lost his life to a heart condition. A regular competitor at Marsh Tracks cycling circuit, we thought it was a suitable tribute to the late cyclist.
With an abundance of emails during the week leading up to the day of racing at Marsh Tracks, ‘Crit for C.R.Y.’ had a good turnout despite clashing with events such as North West Crit Champs.
The day kicked off with the first ever National B race held at Marsh Tracks, Rhyl. An under-used track in my opinion. A wide, flowing circuit where racing is made interesting by the ever-changing wind direction. With 24 entries but 21 on the start line, the racing was thrown wide open when Swift Pro Carbon rider, Andy Turner, got called over to the Ryedale GP. With a big range of ability on the track, we just had to wait until the racing got under way to see who would come out on top.
From the off Pro Vision Race Team rider, Ben Lloyd, made an aggressive start breaking away from the bunch. However, an unfortunate crash on lap 5 shattered the field meaning a group of 6 made up the leading bunch, including the Pro Vision Race Team Rider. Impressively two Junior riders, Chris Mann (Marsh Tracks Racing) and Thomas Mitchell (Birkenhead North End CC) held their own in the leading bunch with the likes of riders from Ribble Pro Cycling and Velo Runner.
As the race went on it resulted in various bunch sprint across the line apart from race winner, Joseph Bowers. The Team Chronomaster rider attacked with just over 2 laps to go and wasn’t seen again by the bunch which brought him across the line in 1st. Following Bowers was a sprint between Grant Bigham (Velo Runner), Jack Rees (Ribble Pro Cycling) and Junior rider Thomas Mitchell. Bigham took 2nd followed by Rees taking 3rd.
Being the Alex Jones Memorial race, Alex’s parents came to present the trophies to the successful riders. An emotional day for them, but pass on their thanks to everyone who raced. The day brought back memories of the last time Alex raced at Marsh Tracks where he won the race after lapping the field on his own.
With no entries for the women’s race, we waited for the 4th Cat Only Men’s race at 2pm. With 7 riders on the start line, Fibrax Wrexham Roads Club dominated the field with 4 riders competing one of which went on to take the win.
Wrexham rider, Wilf Goodfellow, hasn’t long got back from competing in the Alpe d’Huez Triathlon where he claimed 2nd in his age group. Coming to give criterium racing a go on a day license, Wilf wasted no time breaking away off the front and ended up lapping the field twice over.
Behind Wilf it was a sprint finish between Kevin West of Hale Velo and Wrexham rider Alistair Brown. Alistair was nipped to the line by Kevin meaning Kevin took 2nd and Alistair took 3rd. The race ended with a sprint off the following bunch including Cardiac Athlete, Chris Bruney.
Both races were watched closely by Commissaire, David Robson, who I’d like to say a big thank you to for taking time out of his weekend to commissaire the event. A big thank you to Velotik Racing Team for making it possible to run the event by being the promoting team and helping marshall the event. Thank you to Marsh Tracks for being so welcoming and helping us open/lock up the track.
The Bike Bar rider, Alex Harvey, was also a big help on the day stopping to check on one of the riders who hit the deck. Alex also closed up the circuit afterwards. So a big thank you to Alex Harvey too!
I hope all the injured riders from the E123 race heal up quickly. I hope you’re at the end of your season, so you can come back fighting fit next year.
Running the event was certainly tough at times. I was expecting Ryan to head off to get changed any minute and get his bike out of the van, despite it being almost a full season now without him racing. We’ve got a different link to Marsh Tracks now where Ryan is anxiously waiting to see how his athletes perform in the races. I’m not sure how much we’ll raise for Cardiac Risk in the Young, but I think we successfully raised awareness of athletes attending a local CRY heart screening. That’s the most important thing to us. There’s a few British Cycling fees and track hire to sort first, then I’ll confirm what was raised.
The news of Alex Jones hit us both hard with Ryan’s news still being so raw. I didn’t know Alex personally, but he was someone Ryan had raced against for years. It sort of hit home how serious heart conditions can be when we heard about him. We’ll start planning next year, so we can make sure he’s never forgotten.
Any photos from the day can be found HERE
Alex Jones Memorial E123
1. Joseph Bowers – Team Chronomaster
2.Grant Bigham – Velo Runner
3. Jack Rees – Ribble Pro Cycling
4th Cat Only Race
1. Benjamin Goodfellow – Fibrax Wrexham Roads Club
2. Kevin West – Hale Velo
3. Alistair Brown – Fibrax Wrexham Roads Club