Cook flies to victory in Ixworth meeting

CYCLING: Great race with Simcock sees teenager home

EIGHTEEN-year-old Suffolk rider Matt Cook scored his first senior win after a gripping battle with Greg Simcock at the Ixworth Village Cycle Races.

The pair had broken clear of the field in the race for third & fourth category riders. Cook who rides for API/Metrow and is from Barnham near Thetford was pitted against the former champion, now 38 and top man in the team run by Ipswich bike shop Elmy Cycles.

The circuit on closed roads in the centre of the Suffolk village puts a premium on cornering skills at which both Cook and Simcock are expert. But, as Simcock explained afterwards, “Now I’ve a wife and a mortgage I need both collarbones intact”. Cook spotted that he could gain a bit by pushing the limits on the corners and attacked on the last lap. Simcock fought back onto Cook’s wheel, but had to follow through the last corner and the race was Cook’s. “He did the right thing”, said a rueful Simcock.

Nick Esser, organiser of the morning’s VC Baracchi 10 mile time trial, found the energy to claim fourth place in this race, with local riders Patrick Harbord (VCB), and Mathew Shotbolt (CC Sudbury) also figuring in the top eight.

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The races were promoted by West Suffolk Wheelers & Triathlon Club and entries ranged from six-year-olds up to Elite roadmen. The weather was dry but chilly, with Lavenham lad Major Miles (aged 12) having to work hard to attract customers to his ice-cream tricycle - but there was plenty of hot racing.

The climax of the day was an “All the Winners” Invitation race in which Peter Middlehurst (Octagon), Oliver Rossi (PCA Ciclos Uno) and junior Connor Dunne were soon stretching out the field. However James Stewart (Raleigh) from Swindon and Steve Lampier (Pendragon) closed the gap and Stewart took the prime.

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Lowestoft rider Joe Skipper and Lampier also launched a bid but the race regrouped before Martin Ford (Team Goldtec) made the move that stuck, finally opening a gap and taking the big win of the day.

Alan Trolove (West Suffolk Wheelers) teamed up with race travelling companion Josh Hannan (Extreme Sports Therapy) to animate the Under 16’s race but in the end Jack Oliver-Blaney of Team Terminator took the win.

Oliver Plumley (Welwyn Whs) took the under 14s race where West Suffolk Wheelers scarlet colours were carried by Jonathan Sjolin (4th) and Lewis and Dominic Freeman (5th & 7th respectively).

Inspired by success in the Spalding criteriums the previous day Mason Hollyman (Sowerby Bros.) won the Under 10s with a determined ride by young Colin Mantle (Mildenhall CC) taking him to fifth place. Local riders in the Under 12s included cyclo-cross rivals Mitch Powell (Chelmer CC, 4th) and James Jackson (Colchester Rovers, 5th).

Jeremy Greengrass was second in the East Anglian Junior Championship thirty years ago – on May 14 1980. At Ixworth he went one better by winning the Masters race from a solo break. Greengrass now 46 and living in Glasgow, was combining the race with a visit to his father who lives near Diss.

The Junior race at Ixworth was dominated by the Glendene CC, with Connor Dunne winning alone with Alex Murrison and Jim Lewis in the next two places. Tom Moses led Glendene to a 1-2-3-4 clean sweep in the “Invitation B” consolation race, with Ipswich Bicycle Club’s Phil Hetzel and Dan Zagni in the next two places. Hetzel was unlucky to puncture in the Elite/1/2/3 race. James Stewart (Raleigh) was the winner in this one, with Dean Shannon ((Orbea/ For Goodness Shakes) upholding East Anglian honour in fifth place.


Ixworth Criteriums, Winners & leading local riders

Masters: 1 Jeremy Greengrass (Vortex RT) 6 M Westrup (VC Baracchi).

Senior3/4: 1 Matt Cook (API Metrow), 2 G Simcock (XRT/Elmy Cycles), 4 N Esser (VC Baracchi), 5 P Harbord (VCB), 8 M Shotbolt (CC Sudbury) 11 P Rooke (West Suffolk Whs).

Juniors: 1 Connor Dunne (Glendene CC), 7 S Connelley (Maldon & District).

Elite/1/2: 1 James Stewart (Team Raleigh), 5 D Shannon (Orbea/ For Goodness Shakes), 6 K Downs (Orbea), 7 J Skipper (Cycles Dauphin), 10 D Kogan (Orbea).

Under 10: 1 Mason Hollyman (Sowerby Bros), 5 C Mantle (Mildenhall CC).

Under 12: 1 Jack Plumley (Welwyn Whs), 4 M Powell (Chelmer CC), 5 J Jackson (Colchester Rovers).

Under 14: 1 Oliver Plumley (Welwyn Whs), 4 J Sjolin (West Suffolk Whs), 5 L Freeman (WSW), 7 D Freeman (WSW), Girls: 1 Francesca Morgans-Slater (Lee Valley).

Under 16: Jack Oliver-Blaney (Team Terminator), 2 J Hannan (EST/Streetlife), 3 A Trolove (West Suffolk Whs), 4 R King (VeloSchils). Girls: 1 Sara Gent (Onelife), 2 I Buick (Thetford MTB).

Invitation B: 1 Tom Moses (Glendene CC), 5 P Hetzel (Ipswich BC), 6 D Zagni (IBC), 10 B Paton (VC Revolution).

Invitation A: 1 Martin Ford (Team Goldtec), 7 D Shannon (Orbea), 8 J Skipper (Cycles Dauphin), 10 K Downs (Orbea).

In races associated with the ECCA Festival in Essex, Adam Norris (Orbea/For Goodness Shakes) won the E/1/2/3 Circuit Race at Hog Hill from team mate Dean Shannon.

Anthony Stapleton (Chelmer CC) – usually thought of as a time trialist – won the race for third & fourth category riders and juniors at High Easter, while the Senior Road Race Championship went to Belgium-based Andrew Griffiths (New-Heebra/Lombarden). Griffiths’ club is obviously not in the Eastern Counties CA and so the new Senior Champion is Jonathan Shubert (Verulam CC) grandson of the Frank Shubert, top 24 hour time trialist of the 1930s.

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