Strada are proud to be a sponsor for 2012 of the “Hell of the East”. When Alan Rosner decided to organise a new race on the calendar he wanted to do something different that would compliment rather than be much of the same. He eventually came up with resurrecting the Dengie Tour of the Marshes situated close to the windswept east coast and a race with a strong lost pedigree.
The race uses private roads and the first editions went onto the public highway for a short time only and featured two sections of farm track not forgetting rough tarmac roads. In 2011 the race route was tweaked with extra ‘pave’ and in 2012, the April Fool’s date of April 1 sees the race cover nine sections of non tarmac and more miles of the ‘Flanders’ type roads. Many think it’s the pave that decided the race, but that would be wrong, yes and to repeat a sporting cliche, the race can be lost on the rough stuff but the race is won when the riders hit the windswept and unpredictable stretches of narrow tarmac.
The first year Billy Joe Whenman attacked and took a group away with him to win, in 2009 Andy Lyons out sprinted Darren Barclay to win, and again in 2010 the race split into numerous packs of riders seeing Adam Biggs win ahead of Jon Mozley. In 2011 the race was uprated and saw a host of top UK teams in attendance and from the start the Rapha Condor Sharpe squad blew the race apart setting up a win for Zak Dempster.
We can expect even greater drama in 2012 when the Maldon Dengie Tour ‘Hell of the East’ becomes a counting round of the Premier Calendar Series. The race is backed by the local council will start and finish in Maldon high street.
What is true of the Maldon Dengie Tour ‘Hell of the East’ is that whether a winner or last rider over the line all are heroes and was this celebrated in the Rouleur Annual Volume 1 because it is a heroic race.
Maldon Dengie Tour ‘Hell of the East’, April 1, 1pm.
Photo by Geoff Waugh.