Arnold almost breaks the course record

ON a cool but fine morning Mark Arnold was only 20 seconds off the course record in the Haverhill Hilly 20.

ON a cool but fine morning Mark Arnold was only 20 seconds off the course record in the Haverhill Hilly 20. With a tough headwind on the exposed final leg south from Stradishall the Team Pedal Revolution member’s notably aerodynamic riding position will have been a big asset.

Second place went the winner of the recent West Suffolk Wheelers hilly 21, Andre Dyason (VC10) whose time was 47:37.

A poignant moment came when the starting slot that should have been filled by the late Brian Phillips was taken by his son and two employees of the business he built up, European Antennas, who rode the course in his memory.

Braintree Velo made a big impact on the accompanying event for pairs of riders, fielding eight teams and taking the top three places led by Rob Muzio and Andy Defrates whose time was 50:55.

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Rapha Condor Sharp riders attacked from the start of the Tour of the Dengie Marshes and 87 rough and dusty miles later they were rewarded when one of their number, Australian Zak Dempster, took the chequered flag after escaping from a small lead group in the final miles.

Conditions for the Burnham-on Crouch based race were dry – hence the dust on the infamous off-tarmac sections where Eastern Cyclo-Cross League star Greg Simcock would have preferred it wet and muddy. Wind cut across the marshes.

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“It was all about positioning” said Simcock. The field strung out in a long line as leaders rode so that any rival taking shelter was in the gutter. Best Eastern Region placings came from Twenty3c/Orbea pair Kristian Downs (13th) and Andrew Griffiths (14th).

In the Chelmer CC 60 mile road race on the Roxwell- Leaden Roding – Fyfield circuit a break of around six riders established a substantial lead, later consolidated when a tractor and trailer appeared between the two parts of the field. The eventual winner was Dan Crawley (PCH UK), with Jamie Caldwell (St Ives CC) second, a result which puts these two in the same positions at the top of the Eastern Road Race League.

The 56 mile Fleche Welwyn road race, promoted by Welwyn Whs, actually held in Bedfordshire and named with reference to the Belgian classic was won by Ed Clemens (VC10) one of three Junior riders who escaped early. Only David Miller of West Suffolk Wheelers, eventually second, saw them again before the finish.

Edmund Spurgeon (Colchester Rovers) was the winner of the Veteran’s Time Trials Association 25 on the tri-angular course which starts just south of Newmarket. The 68 year-old completed the course in 1:4:20 bettering the standard time for his age by 16 minutes 57 seconds.

Riders aged under 40 took a secondary role in this VTTA promotion, but the fastest was legend Michael Hutchinson (In-Gear) who was in a class of his own. He took 51:21 for the 25 miles, 3:04 faster than budding pro roadman Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport). Fastest two-up pair was Nigel Stephens and Trevor Burke of the Finchley RT in 55:39, with Chelmer riders Graham Painter and Erron Field second with 1:00:34.

Ian Mackenzie (Southend Wheelers) won the Ed Green Memorial Trophy for best tricycle on handicap in the classic Circuit of the Dales mountain time trial in Yorkshire. He negotiated the 50 miles and 3300 feet of moorland climbing in 3:21:58, beating me by 27:39.

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