Cycling: Denise Hurren takes women’s title at Velo Club Baracchi Ten

Denise Hurren (Sole Bay Sport) – women’s winner in the Waveney Valley. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

Denise Hurren (Sole Bay Sport) womens winner in the Waveney Valley. Picture: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant

Sole Bay Sport rider Denise Hurren took the top women’s award in the Velo Club Baracchi “Ten” in 23:42, but only just – she was closely challenged by Cindy Berry, who is from the University of East Anglia but rides for Bowlphish Racing and was only five seconds slower, writes Fergus Muir.

Stuart Fairweather – second in the Baracchi 10. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

Stuart Fairweather second in the Baracchi 10. Picture: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant

The event used the Bungay-based version of the Waveney Valley course and competitors faced a tough headwind start up the climb out of Earsham or, depending on how you looked at it, enjoyed a splendidly fast last mile to the finish.

Event organiser Mark Richards was last to start and fastest overall in 20:47, eighteen seconds ahead of Stuart Fairweather from Rendlesham, who in turn was just ahead of his VeloVelocity team boss Paul Jay (21:11).

Next day the Godric CC 25 used the same roads but started and finished at Redenhall, at the western end. Great Yarmouth rider Harley Matthews (DAP CC) won in 51:37, pulverising the course record previously held by Canadian Justin Homeward at 52:43. Second was Mark Richards perhaps feeling the effects of his double duties the previous day, over two and a half minutes in arrears.

Topping the handicap awards was Matt O’Brian (54:44, fifth overall) from Suffolk coast club Plomesgate CC.

Paul Watson of the West Suffolk Wheelers had a fast finish at Basildon. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

Paul Watson of the West Suffolk Wheelers had a fast finish at Basildon. Picture: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant

Conditions were by no means perfect with a rising crosswind which affected those late in the starting order, including Matthews, more than most.

The Basildon cyclo-cross saw Richard Muchmore, winner of the first two league 50-plus rounds meet Jimmy Piper, champion last season, on a course that was mostly fast and dusty but featured a fiendish ditch that only the brave tackled in the saddle.

Most Read

Piper won, but only by 12 seconds. Dave Copland (Ipswich BC) was next until Paul Watson (West Suffolk Whs), getting faster every lap, nipped by to claim third at the flag.

Elspeth Grace (Welwyn Whs) took her third win among the women, where the revelation second placed Ipswich rider Gemma Melton, just back from the Tour of Sussex road race, who had spectators commenting on her speed through the grass corners.

Harley Matthews on his way to a new course record at the Godric CC25. Picture: DOMINIC AUSTRIN

Harley Matthews on his way to a new course record at the Godric CC25. Picture: DOMINIC AUSTRIN - Credit: Archant

“Seemed only natural, really” said Gemma, who says she is riding just for winter fun and fitness and in particular mentioned the friendly atmosphere among the women.

Melton was 15th in the Sussex stage race where the Suffolk star was Rebecca Johnson who was second overall.

Johnson bided her time in the flat first stage, finishing in the bunch. The next stage, an eight minute hill climb, suited her better and she moved up to fifth on GC.

The final stage involved seven ascents of the long draggy climb to Beachy Head. A break of ten escaped – actually on the descent – and from that Johnson and two others opened a gap of three minutes by the finish – and 15 minutes over the depleted bunch.

So it was second step on the podium and a fine end to the season for Johnson who is from Henley near Ipswich.

Eastern League cyclo-cross moves north this week with the VC Revolution ‘Cross at Sheepen Road, Colchester on Sunday.

Cyclo-Cross is perhaps the most family-friendly of cycle-sports with participation in the Under 12s increased five-fold in the past fifteen years and many parents competing in the Vets’ races after the young rider’s short morning races. Less dramatic than MTB racing, anyone can do it modestly.

To go faster needs a balance of skill and fitness, gained from training.....and there is usually a soft landing when you get it wrong. For details see

On Sunday 15th October the non-competitive Ruff Stuff 25 off-road event returns to the calendar. New organisers are Woodbridge Rotary Club who are raising money for the Bike Active charity at Alton Water. The event – initiated by CTC Suffolk DA in the1950s – now starts at Butley Village Hall, doors open from 8am, first riders off at 9.30am.

For more details and entry form see the Woodbridge Rotary Club website.


GODRIC CC 25 Redenhall: 1 Harley Matthews (DAP CC) 51:37, 2 Mark Richards (DAP CC) 54:10, 3 Ben Stancombe (King’s Lynn CC) 54:24, 4 D Procter (VeloVelocity) 54:38, 5 M O’Brian (Plomesgate CC) 54:44, 6 Paul Jay (VeloVelocity) 55:43

HANDICAP: 1 Matt O’Brian (Plomesgate) Net 43:12 (actual 54:44), 2 Stuart Chase (Rock Estate) 43:19 (1:01:01), Jan Smith (Gt Yarmouth CC) 44:1:00 ) 1:8:24, 4 L Julian (DAP CC) 44:51 (58:51), 5 M Atkinson (King’s Cliff Flyers) 45:02 (57:48), 6 E Dean (Norwich ABC) 45:41 ( 58:31).

VETS on AGE STD:1 Procter +14:27, 2 Simon Daw (Velo Schils) +11:47, 3 Paul Lilley (Fenland Clarion) + 11:34, 4 Jay + 10:30, 5 J Anderson (Gt Yarmouth CC)+10:18, 6 A Pettitt (Stowmarket &DCC) +9:50.

VC BARACCHI 10, Earsham:

1 Mark Richards (DAP CC) 20:47, 2 Stuart Fairweather (VeloVelocity) 21:09, 3 Paul Jay (VeloVelocity) 21:11, 4 T Fitzpatrick (CC Breckland) 21:14, 5 B Beynon (Pedal Revolution) 21:26, 6 L He (VC Baracchi) 21:31, 7 S Scott (Anglia Velo) 21:37, 8 K Dorling (Team Bottrill) 21:41, 9 M Saunders (VC Baracchi) 22:10, 10 L Julian (DAP CC) 22:17. Women: 1 Denise Hurren (Sole Bay Sport) 23:42, 2 Cindy Berry (BowlPhish Racing) 23:47, 3 Jenny Anderson (Gt Yarmouth CC) 25:27.

Eastern League Cyclo-Cross – Basildon: Winners and leading local riders:

SENIOR: 1 Daniel Tullett (Specialized Racing) 11 laps in 1:03:10, 3 J Madgwick (Bloodwise/QSW) + 1:18, 4 K Jarvis (OnForm) +1:41, 7 G Martin (XRT/Elmy) +3:34.

WOMEN: 1 Elspeth Grace (Welwyn Whs) 6 in 41:25, 2 G Melton (Pedal Power Ipswich) +0:55, 3 K Scotter (ViCiOUS VELO) +1:47, 5 J Newstead (XRT/Elmy).

VETS 40-49: 1 Matthew Webber (Forest Side Riders) 7 in 42:28, 3 G Davey (Stowmarket & District) +1:03, 5 M Powell (SDCC) +1:48, 6 M Wellsted (Amis Velo) +1:52. V

VETS 50+: 1 Jimmy Piper (MS Society) 6 in 37:21, 2 R Muchmore (Renvale RT) +0:12, 3 P Watson (West Suffolk Whs) +1:49, 4 D Copland (Ipswich BC) +1:57.

YOUTH: 1 Adam Lightfoot (CC Ashwell) 5 in 31:38, 6 D Hall (Colchester Rovers) +1:03. Under 12: 1 Alfie Amey (Team Darenth) 8 in 11:34 6 Florence Barnett (King’s Lynn CC, 1st Girl). Under 10: 1:Anna Lloyd (Lee Valley Youth) 6 in 10:05.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter