Article Index
Club Riders' Great Achievements
2004-2006
2003 and earlier
Alex Dowsett
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Maldon & District CC riders have produced some outstanding results in the club's history, particularly in recent years. This page recognises the achievements of club riders who have made their mark at national level or in national championship events.

2008:

  • Keeley Bunton - Winner, National Junior Ladies 25m TT Championships.
    Press report:
    "Maldon & District Cycling Club’s junior team flew the flag in the National Junior 25 mile Time Trial Championship at Huntingdon on Sunday and did not come away empty handed.  Seventeen year old Keeley Bunton put in a performance which gave her the spoils as fastest junior lady. This was Bunton’s last tilt at junior honours as she will be in the senior ranks next year, but her efforts on the day did not disappoint, with a time of 1h 12m 38s which earnt her the gold medal and the title."


    Keeley Bunton - 2008 Junior Ladies 25m Champion.

2007:

  • Steve George - Winner, British Penny Farthing 'Ordinary' Bicycle Championships.
    Press report:
    " The profile of the Maldon & District Cycle Club has been kept high by Steve George, the Club’s latest Champion.  He is the new British Penny Farthing ‘Ordinary’ bicycle Champion, having competed at the Herne Hill Velodrome in London , cycling venue for the 1948 London Olympics. This was a massed start race with 6 competitors on Penny Farthings riding the raised bankings of the ¼ mile lap track.  It was a convincing win over Paul Smith, 35, who has won the Championship for the last 14 years consecutively.  He is described by Steve as ‘a ferocious competitor’.  Steve actually was the winner of the race two years ago, but was not allowed to hold the title as he won the race on a replica, rather than an original penny Farthing.  Steve now has an original cycle as well and so was able to become the official champion. It was a double celebration because he was also awarded  the Super Veterans’ Trophy.  Presentations were made by Eileen Sheridan , long distance multi record holder."

   
Steve George about to pass the reigning champ to take the title.

 


2006:
  • Mark Beattie - 2nd, National Junior 10m Time Trial Championships.
  • Mark Beattie - Fastest 16 year old, National Junior 10m Time Trial Championships.
  • Mark Beattie, Stevie Saunders, Rob Tyas; Fastest Team, National Junior 10m Time Trial Championships.
    Press report:
    "While a blanket of dense cloud creating low temperatures and heavy rainfall covered most of the country at the weekend, the younger members of the Maldon & District Cycling Club felt the sun was shining on them. A contingent of six young riders from the club travelled to Cambridge on Sunday to compete in the junior 10-mile time trial National Championship. Twentieth rider to start was seventeen-year-old Mark Beattie (Mayland) who turned in a career best time of 22.19 on a heavy and demanding course. This left many observers wondering how much faster the later, more experienced starters would go. After much waiting and nail biting, the answer was, not much faster at all. In fact only Cleveland Wheelers rider Richard Meadows time of 22.00 was faster than Beattie’s effort. To complement his silver medal in the overall race, Beattie also won his age category. That was not the end of the story as team mates Stevie Saunders (South Woodham Ferrers) and Rob Tyas (East Hanningfield) turned in times of 24.00 & 25.54. Their combined times earned them and the club a further three National Championship medals for the fastest team. The other three Maldon team riders Jack Gibson, George Gibson and Keely Bunton all turned in splendid rides of 26.04, 26.48 and 29.06 respectively. The youngsters were delighted that over 20 club members travelled to the race to support their efforts.  Beattie and Saunders graduate to the senior ranks next year, but there is strength in depth in the club as the next wave of young riders continues to develop well."

    (L-R): Stevie Saunders, Mark Beattie, Rob Tyas.
2004:
  • Alex Dowsett - Winner, National Junior 10 Mile Time Trial Championships.
    Press report:
    "The Maldon area has a new sporting National Champion. Fifteen year old cyclist Alex Dowsett who rides for the Maldon & District Cycling Club travelled to North Nottinghamshire at the weekend to compete in the National Junior 10 mile Time Trial Championship for riders under 19. His winning time of 21 minutes and 20 seconds tied him with 18 year old Peter Bissell (Team Welwyn). The event was not without drama though as Alex was initially awarded gold and declared one minute ahead of Bissell, but on appeal this was reversed and put down to a timing error and the pair shared the gold. The opportunity to prove himself again was to come quickly as Dowsett had also entered the senior championship race over the same course the next morning. In slower conditions, with the fatigue of the previous day he was still able to return an astonishing time of 21.12 which on the previous day would still have won him the junior title.  Against a field of 150 mature experienced adults who are at the top of their field in the country, his ride placed him 63rd, again another superb ride and one which totally silenced his doubters."

  • Alex Dowsett - 3rd, National Junior 25 Mile Time Trial Championships.
    Press report:
    "Fifteen year old cycling prodigy Alex Dowsett (Maldon & District Cycling Club) turned in another quality performance at the weekend. In the National Junior 25 mile Time Trial Championship in Kent he took bronze medal position in a time of 56.16. His time was bettered by winner James Sampson (Racescene) with 55.44 and Peter Bissell (Team Welwyn) with 55.52. Such is the standard Alex now sets himself that he regarded this performance as disappointing. It does however confirm his presence in the top flight of junior competitors in the sport. This was felt to be necessary due to a controversy over the accuracy of timing in the National Ten Mile Championship event two weeks earlier where several times were amended. Alex’s time was one of these, being subsequently increased by one minute. Fortunately this did not knock him off the top rung, but it brought Peter Bissell into equal first position. Alex has another three seasons competing in the junior category while most of his arch rivals transfer to the seniors after this year. His position at the top of this field looks assured for the foreseeable future."

  • Alex Dowsett - Winner, GHS National Final (National Schoolboy's & Schoolgirl's 10m Time Trial Championships).
    Press report:
    "Local 15 year old cyclist Alex Dowsett from Cock Clarks, who rides for the Maldon & District Cycling Club advanced his career further at the weekend when he became the resounding winner of the National Schoolboy 10 mile Time trial championship. Following his first appearance on the national scene when he surprised many by coming runner up in this event last year, his win by over a minute on Saturday confirmed his growing status as a potential Olympic star of the future. This year’s title race was held in north Yorkshire, between Boroughbridge and Wetherby. The conversion of the A1 to a motorway has created a wide, well surfaced and relatively traffic free service road where 130 of the best youngsters in the country could match up to each other. It is also rather exposed and on the day, although the forecast rain did not arrive, an extremely strong southerly wind was blowing directly along the line of the course making the outward leg exceptionally tough and ruling out the possibility of fast times. Alex returned to the timekeeper in an exceptional time of 21.43, to beat second place Ben Swift (Dataphonics) by 61 seconds. This is an almost unprecedented gap in a short distance race where single seconds often decide placings. Indeed the second to tenth placed riders were all bunched within a minute of each other, but Alex was on a clearly different and much higher level. Although Alex can go on winning time trial championships well into the foreseeable future, the bigger picture of the international scene beckons. If he continues to progress at his current rate, few would bet against him representing Britain in the Olympic Games of 2012 or beyond."

Alex Dowsett victorious at the 2004 GHS Final.

2003:
  • Alex Dowsett - 2nd, GHS National Final (National Schoolboy's & Schoolgirl's 10m Time Trial Championships).
    Press report:
    "Schoolboy cyclist Alex Dowsett from Cock Clarks showed the rest of the country what he is made of by finishing runner up in the National 10 mile time trial Championships for riders under 17, held in the Midlands on Saturday. Alex, who rides for the Maldon & District Cycling Club only began racing a little over a year ago but was soon beating the seniors. His progress this year has been little short of breathtaking and shows a real potential for Olympic level success when he has fully developed. Alex covered the ten mile course in a time of 21 minutes and 12 seconds and was only beaten in the 100 rider field by 16 year old Ian Stannard  (Team Luciano) with 20.59. As the championship was open to riders under the age of 17, Alex still has two more opportunities to go on to the highest step on the podium."

    Alex Dowsett riding his way to a silver medal.

1991:

            Mike Smith / Melanie Brand - National Competition Record, 12 Hours Mixed Tandem Trike - 217.16.

1986:

  • Mike Smith - National Competition Record, 24 Hours Tandem Bicycle - 466.56m. With G.Adams, Redbridge CC. (Broken in 1991 by R & P Goodfellow,  501.35m).

1985:

  • Mike Smith - National Competition Record, 12 Hours Tandem Bicycle - 260.47m. With G.Adams, Redbridge CC. (Broken again in 1985 by R.Smith & G.Irons, 263.96m). 

1984:

  • Steve Cruse - National Competition Record, 24 Hours Tandem Bicycle - 438.33m. With R.Smith, Essex Roads CC. (Broken in 1986 but kept in the club as the record was taken by Mike Smith, see above).

 


ALEX DOWSETT:

Alex Dowsett has been by far the highest achieving member in the Maldon & District Cycling Club's history. Alex joined the club in 2002 after being introduced to cycling by Eric & Glenn Smith. Already a keen and talented swimmer, Alex took to cycling very quickly and despite being new to the sport he began to produce some remarkable time trial results. Alex spent his first season with the club familiarising himself with the sport and rapidly improving in club and open events, and by the end of 2003 he had more or less made a full conversion to cycling and came second in the GHS Youth 10 mile time trial championship final aged 14, two years younger than many other competitors. This was his breakthrough at national level and after that he was always seen as a threat by many more established names in the sport. 2004 saw Alex break nearly every club time trial record available to him (which are likely to stay unbroken for some time!) and to take his first national titles on the road; winning the GHS and the National Junior 10m TT Championships as well as bronze in the National Junior 25m TT Championships. At this point he was spotted by talent scouts who invited him to join British Cycling's new development squad, the Talent Team, who he trained with in addition to representing the Maldon in races.


Alex in his early racing days with Maldon & District.

In 2005 Alex was given an invitation that he couldn't really refuse; a chance to join the new and funded Glendene CC junior squad being put together by ex-professional Bob Downs which would include the best juniors from the area. This was the perfect opportunity for Alex to continue to develop and progress to the next level. For recognition of his achievements whilst in the Maldon & District CC, the club presented him with Life Membership and wished him the best of luck with his new squad. It was in the Glendene that Alex also began to dabble at road racing and found that he was able to excel in that discipline as well; winning prolific races like the Junior Tour of the Peaks (which he won by nearly a minute over Johnny Bellis who is now pro with Saxo Bank); the Bath Junior Road Race and the International Junior 3-day Tour of Wales. This great tally of road race results secured him with the overall win in the season-long National Junior Road Race Series. In the same year he won 5 National Junior Time Trial Championships and the Junior British Best All Rounder award with an average speed of 29.54 mph, a Junior British record. In June he also broke the National Junior 10 mile Competition Time Trial record with a time of 19m 13s, taking nearly half a minute off the 13-year-old record. On the track, he was a member of the GlendeneCC/Biketrax 4-man team who won Silver in the Senior National 4K Team Pursuit beaten only by the GB Under 23 Team. His achievements were again recognised by British Cycling who invited him to take a step up from the Talent Team to their Olympic Development Programme.


Alex winning the Junior Tour of the Peaks for Glendene.

2006 saw Alex begin to win and impress at an international level, particularly in time trials.  Alex won the Prologue of the Ster van Zuid-Limburg junior race in Belgium, breaking the course record and enabling him to wear the yellow jersey in the next stage of the race. He also won the short time trialof Stage 2 of the Junior Tour of Switzerland (Tour du Pays du Vaud), as well as being part of the 4-man team that took bronze in the Team Pursuit at the World Junior Track Championships. He was also able to retain his title from 2005 in the National Junior Time Trial Championships.


In winning form in Belgium in National Junior TT Champion's kit.

By 2007, Alex had progressed with British Cycling to the Olympic Academy (full-time cycling and one level below becoming professional) where he signed for the espoir squad 100% ME; the best espoirs in Britain with a stubborn anti-doping attitude. Whilst the rest of the team went to ride full-time in Italy, Alex had to waituntil the summer to complete his A-levels. This did not stop him from dominating the Premier Calendar in Britain, as he won the Perf's Pedal Race and was second in the Eddie Soens Memorial to team mate Ian Stannard (now a full time professiona riderl). This enabled him to win the U23 category of the Premier Calendar. He continued to show his time trial prowess, winning the Rudy Project Series as well as impressive results in the senior men's 10 & 25m National Championships, where he came 3rd and 4th respectfully; before finishing off his season learning the tricks of the trade in Italy.


Riding for 100% ME.

 2008 & 2009 saw Alex continuing to progress in racing, but the extraordinarily high standards of racing in Italy. Highlights include winning the Team Time Trial at the Tour of Alsace (2008), King of the Mountains and 4th overall in the GP Santini  Ardelio (2008), winning the Espoirs National Time Trial Championships (2008), winning the Richmond Grand Prix (2009) and 11th at the European U23 TT Championships. Alex has now represented his country several times in World and European U23 & Junior championships in time trials, road races and on the track. Alex's latest and greatest result was at the U23 World Time Trial Championships where he finished a superb 7th place, only a handful of seconds from a bronze medal place!

Alex graduated from the Academy in 2009 and has inked a deal with the Trek-Livestrong Team for 2010. This is a US-based U23 development squad formed by Lance Armstrong and managed by Axel Merckx, son of Eddy Merckx. We wish Alex all the best in the 2010 season and wish him congratulations on getting onto the team!


At the 2009 European U23 TT Championships, riding for Great Britain.

2010: The Move to Trek-Livestrong could hardly have been better for Alex. Managed by Axel Merckx, son of Eddy, arguably the greatest cyclist of all time, the Trek-Livestrong development team had access to some of the highest quality races on the planet, with Alex a main player. Supporting American prodigy Taylor Phinney, Alex was able to be a major team player yet still had full chance to show his own star quality. The year started well with superb performances in the Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman. An unfortunate spill in the feed zone of a race in Holland in the summer saw Alex back home for a few weeks nursing a broken shoulder. This did not keep him off the bike for long, and only three weeks after the accident he was a regular competitior at the Maldon evening "10's" & "25's" showing the rest of us what true quality really was. His in jury prevented him from riding the "Under-23 Paris-Roubaix" race on the cobbles of northern France, but who knows what more severe injuries were in store there? The Under-23 European Time Trial Championships in Turkey proved to be the high spot the year as he took the gold medal. Back home and preparing for the World Championships in Melbourne, Alex rode a lot of British-based "25's". His time of 46mins 58secs in the North Hampshire event is the 6th(?) fastest "25" of all time. A superb ride in the prologue of the Tour d'e Avenir (the "amateur Tour de France") saw Alex in the yellow jersey for a day, before the mountains gave the climbers a chance to overhaul him. The World Championships in Melbourne, however, proved to be a minor disaster. Whilst in a podium position, he took a corner a little too quickly and pedalled just a little too soon. This lifted the back end of the bike off the ground and when it dropped back onto the road, the sideways force ripped the tyre off the rim. A fairly major error by his back-up car meant that it was not carrying a spare time trial bike, so Alex had to continue on a normal road bike. This and the time spent changing machines dropped him well out of contention. He interrupted the flight home by getting off in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games. There he took the silver medal in the Men's Time Trial, backing this up with a superb ride in the road race a few days later. After prolonged negotiation, Alex has now signed for the British based Sky squad. He is now a member of one of the major teams in pro cycling and has the opprtunity to really show the rest of the world just what many of us in the Maldon have known for years: He is truly one of the best ever cyclists ever to cock a leg over a bike.  

From 2011 onwards, Alex's international career really hit the big time, culminating at the point of writing in a stage win in the 2013 Giro d'Italia, on form honed to perfection in our own evening "10's" at Steeple. As his profile rose, professional journalists took a much greater interest in him & can probably do him more justice than a simple club account. For a more recent account of his exploits CLICK HERE.