Britain’s leading road race series, contested over 19 events between March and September. Round Two, Grand Prix of Essex Sunday 19th March 2000 Report 21 year old Russell Downing struck a blow for Britain’s up and coming riders with his first Premier Calendar victory in an exciting Grand Prix of Essex. The 102 mile race, based on the town of Halstead, was covered in the impressive time of 3 hours 54 minutes (ave. speed over 26mph), a record for the event. An early break saw a group of 12 riders build a two and a half minute lead over 15 chasers with the main field a further minute back. By 65 miles a lead group of 24 riders had consolidated a lead of three and a half minutes. Russell Downing then launched an attack which pulled a clear a small group of riders, Kevin Dawson, Mark Lovatt and two of the BCF World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) Under-23 riders, Dan Bridges and Jamie Alberts. Andy Lyons soon joined them, but Bridges was unluckily left behind with a broken chain, despite a quick response from his team car. A further attack from the confident Downing left him with only Lovatt and Dawson to deal with and a fierce sprint up Market Hill to the finish gave him the race by the comfortable margin of 4 seconds. A feature of the race was the high number of under 23 riders, with the BCF-WCPP placing four of their riders in the top 15, and eight under 23s in the top twenty. Results 1. Russell Downing BCF Private Member 102 miles in 3h 54m 57s 2. Mark Lovatt Pro-Vision/Planet X @ 4s 3. Kevin Dawson Pete Read Racing @ 5s 4. Mike Jones Robert Grinsell Travel @ 46s 5. Andy Lyons BCF Private Member @ 47s 6. Aaron McCaffrey Heff’s Bike Shop same time 7. Paul Crook Heff’s Bike Shop @ 3m 43s 8. Anthony Malarczyk www.Realcostcarimports @3m 45s 9. Jamie Alberts BCF-WCPP @ 3m 51s 10. Keith Haddon Terry Wright Cycles @ 4m 14s Series Standings after 2 Events Pos Rider Team Total Points 1= DOWNING Russell BCF Private Member 40 1= NEWTON, Chris Middridge CRT 40 3= TANNER, John Provision Powerbar 35 3= LOVATT Mark Provision Powerbar 35 5 LYONS, Andy BCF Private Member 31 6= BROOKS, Ben(Aus) Linda McCartney 30 6= DAWSON Kevin Pete Reade Racing 30 8 McCAFFREY Aaron Heffs Bike/Jackson 28 9= RANDLE, Wayne Provision Powerbar 25 9= JONES Mike Robert Grinsell Travel 25 Points Allocated As Follows- 1st 40; 2nd 35; 3rd 30; 4th 25; 5th 20; 6th 15; 7th 14; 8th 13; 9th 12; 10th 11; 11th 10; 12th 9; 13th 8; 14th 7; 15th 6; 16th 5; 17th 4; 18th 3; 19th 2; 20th 1. 2000 Premier Calendar Events 1 12-Mar Oleum-Starlight Grand Prix Sussex 2 19-Mar Grand Prix of Essex Halstead 3 26-Mar Romford – Harlow Road Race Essex 4 1/2 Apr Europa 2 Day Hampshire 5 09-Apr Archer International Grand Prix Beaconsfield (International) 6 16-Apr Lancaster Mercedes Grand Prix Welwyn Garden City 7 22/24 Apr Girvan 3 Day Scotland 8 07-May Lincoln International Grand Prix Lincoln (International) 9 14-May Chairman’s Silver Spoon Road Race Ollerton, Notts 10 20/21May East Riding of Yorkshire Classic Beverley 11 27/28 May Tour of the Kingdom Dunfermline, Scotland 12 10/11Jun Robert Hobbs Memorial Stage Race Carmathen, Wales 13 23-Jun Manx International IOM (International) 14 09-Jul Five Valleys Road Race Port Talbot, Wales 15 30-Jul International Tour of the Cotswolds Gloucester (International) 16 06-Aug Havant International Grand Prix Hampshire (International) 17 13-Aug Glasgow – Dunoon Hayward Tyler Clas. Scotland 18 10-Sep International Tour of the Peak Buxton, Derbyshire (International) 19 17-Sep Leek United Grand Prix Leek, Staffs For further information, contact: Phil Ingham BCF Press Officer +44 161 230 23 01