Amy Pritchard wins second straight Pat Pepper Memorial 25 in a record time

Amy Pritchard on her winning ride at the Pat Pepper Memorial 25. Picture: DOMINIC AUSTRIN

Amy Pritchard on her winning ride at the Pat Pepper Memorial 25. Picture: DOMINIC AUSTRIN - Credit: Archant

2017 winner Amy Pritchard returned to the Waveney Valley to score a repeat victory in the Wolsey Road Club’s Pat Pepper Memorial 25, and this year broke the course record to boot, writes Fergus Muir.

Amy Pritchard receives the Pat Pepper Memorial Trophy from Mick Pepper. Picture: FERGIS MUIR

Amy Pritchard receives the Pat Pepper Memorial Trophy from Mick Pepper. Picture: FERGIS MUIR - Credit: Archant

The Giant Camden Team Liv member, who had wowed Wolsey RC members at their Ipswich Prize Presentation in January, led a friendly invasion at the weekend – bringing a busload of 11 clubmates and their bikes from the all-women London club and swelling the women’s entry to a splendid 27 in total.

Despite having a knee operation only twelve weeks previously, Pritchard set a new women’s course record of 1:00:33 for the Redenhall-Bungay two lapper.

At the turns Pritchard was keeping an eye on Verity Smith (Stowmarket & District) who had been just 13 seconds slower in 2017 - but in fact it was Becky Murley (formerly Taylor) of Wisbech Wheelers who took second place in 1:01:03, with Verity third in 1:03:29.

Cindy Berry (Pedal Power Ipswich) came next with 1:03:52, followed by Rachel Holman (1:05:13) and Jan Smith (1:7:14), the Great Yarmouth rider who is slicing minutes off her times this season.

The next of the Camden riders, Nicola Timmins, was actually eighth woman – finishing in 1:09:28, but the bubbling enthusiasm of the members was much in evidence.

Asked how the club operated from its inner-London base, mention was made of 6am meets for Park Circuits, sprint sessions on north London hills and train-assisted runs starting from St Albans.

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Turning to the men, two black arrows from VeloVelocity dominated - with Stuart Fairweather (53:12) the fastest, from Ben Stancombe (54:03).

Said Fairweather: “I think it was a slow day and I couldn’t get my heart rate up but I did okay and ended up winning. It was cold and misty, so I don’t think many people went well.”

Cindy Berry (Pedal Power Ipswich) who was third in the Pat Pepper Memorial 25. Picture: DOMINIC AUST

Cindy Berry (Pedal Power Ipswich) who was third in the Pat Pepper Memorial 25. Picture: DOMINIC AUSTRIN - Credit: Archant

Third place went to Plomesgate CC’s Matt O’Brien (55:18) after Joe Skipper had to be excluded having forgotten to sign out after his ride.

VC Baracchi’s Lucas He won the Junior prize in style with 56:04 for fifth place overall.

Looking further afield, Rebecca Johnson, from Henley near Ipswich, shook up the time trial world when she won the third round of the women’s Knight Composites Classic TT Series on a 37 mile course in the hilly country west of Worcester.

Johnson, who is mainly a road race competitor, was riding for her Fusion RT team and beat series leader Kelly Murphy by 16 seconds.

There was a lone win for Arlen Vartazarian (HJL) in the 78 mile Simon Hook Road Race on the Great Saling circuit west of Braintree in Essex.

The decisive split came after only about 20 miles when 14 riders escaped on the feed-zone hill and were never caught.

Vartazarian left this group with about two laps remaining and had gained around two minutes by the finish.

Of local riders only Jack Hardwicke salvaged any ranking points, the Pedal Power Ipswich team member finishing 20th after a long spell in no-man’s-land between the bunch and the break. Following Hardwicke came Gary Freeman (21st), Josh Andrews (22nd) and Harley Matthews (23rd).

Pat Pepper Memorial 25 men’s winner Stuart Fairweather from Rendlesham. Picture: DOMINIC AUSTRIN

Pat Pepper Memorial 25 mens winner Stuart Fairweather from Rendlesham. Picture: DOMINIC AUSTRIN - Credit: Archant

The third round of the Mud Sweat and Gears MTB series was held on a man-made course around the Olympic VeloPark at Stratford, taking in parts of the BMX track, MTB training area and road circuit.

It was described as harsh, bumpy and treeless, but also was fast and technical - which suited Haverhill Aerocycles rider Nick Ainsworth who won the 50-plus Vets race on a day when he found his legs “just felt good”.

Not so lucky was early leader in the 50+, Mark Wellsted who got tangled while lapping a back-marker, a constant risk in this notably all-ability sport.

Felixstowe rider Elvita Branch was fastest woman overall while Anita Ward from Bury was top female Vet. There was a second spot in the Juniors for Cam Hurst and third in the 50+ for Paul Watson.


Wolsey Road Club 25, Wortwell:

WOMEN – for the Pat Pepper Trophy: 1 Amy Pritchard (Giant Camden Team Liv) 1:00:33, 2 Becky Murley (Wisbech Whs) 1:01:03, 3 Verity Smith (Stowmarket & District) 1:03:29, 4 Cindy Berry (Pedal Power Ipswich) 1:03:52, 5 Rachel Holman (Ride Harder) 1:05:13, 6 Jan Smith (Great Yarmouth CC) 1:07:14, 7 Jo Fisk (Beccles Tri Club) 1:09:10, 8 Nicola Timmins (Giant Camden Team Liv) 1:09:28, 9 Kathryn Smith (Sleaford Wheelers CC) 1:09:58, 10 Imogen Harvey (Giant Camden Team Liv) 1:10:05, 11 Jenny Anderson (Great Yarmouth CC) 1:10:23, 12 Larissa Smith (Godric CC) 1:12:28.

MEN - 1 Stuart Fairweather (VeloVelocity) 53:12, 2 Ben Stancombe, (VeloVelocity) 54:03, 3 Matt O’Brien (Plomesgate CC) 55:18, 4 Sam Proctor (Ride Harder) 56:03, 5 Lucas He (VC Baracchi, 1st Junior) 56:04, 6 Chris Tye (Plomesgate CC) 56:47, 7 Simon Daw (Velo Schils) 57:09, 8 Steve Cave (Plomesgate CC) 57:10, 9 Adrian Pettitt (Stowmarket & District) 58:23, 10 Andrew Leggett (VeloVelocity) 58:30, 11 Martin Holmes (Ely & District) 59:17, 12 Jim Hardwicke (Plomesgate CC) 59:28.

MUD,SWEAT & GEARS ROUND 3, Stratford VeloPark:

Fastest Females over five Laps: Elvita Branch 1:23:36, Emily Benham-Kvale 1:24:52 Nicole Beck 1:29:32, Anita Ward 1:30:07, Emma Bond 1:31:51, Alison Goss 1:32:39.

Fastest Males over six laps: Tony Revell 1:23:50,Roger Fowkes 1:24:53, James Pickering 1:26:00, Jules Birks 1:26:03, Andrew Cockburn 1:26:06, Matthew Webber 1:26:25, Nick Ainsworth 1:26:39, Matthew Whelan 1:26:59, Craig Gunnell 1:27:22, , Kieran Jarvis 1:27:36,Robert Staines 1:27:39, Mike Mooney 1:27:47, Paul White 1:28:00, Paul Groombridge 1:28:06, Jonathan Sheasby 1:28:07, Chriss Hunter 1:28:12, Nicholas Coley 1:28:22

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