Barker and Berry take titles on fearsome Ely Hardriders course
- Credit: Archant
The 2019 Ely & District Hardriders fully lived to its fearsome reputation as a tough early season challenge, writes Fergus Muir.
With the temperature hovering around three degrees and a gusty wind blowing almost continuous rain over the exposed course, it was not for the faint-hearted – or under-dressed.
Over a third of the 25.2 miles consists of small fen roads with tight corners and disintegrating surfaces.
“Lots of standing water” said Lowestoft rider Mark Richards who was fourth overall, “and the roads haven’t gotten any better – so loads of bumps, grooves and pot holes.”
None of this prevented overall winner Felix Barker (ActiveEdge) from going round in 56:25. Barker – who was second last year – was this time just three seconds faster than Toby Cowell (Cambridge University CC). Rob Walker (CUCC) was third in 56:39 while Richards (DAP CC) finished in 57:09,
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Top woman was Cindy Berry of Pedal Power Ipswich (1:07:13) with the promoting club’s Zena Palgrave second in 1:20:19. Palgrave, incidentally, arrived back at the event HQ afterwards to find a frozen competitor slumped outside, trying and failing to undo their plated cycling shoes – such shoes not being allowed in the village hall
David Halliday (1:07:52) was fastest competitor on a road bike (defined as with drops and without tri-bars) and also best from the Newmarket club. Martin Holmes (1:12:13) was fastest from the promoting Ely club, while regular supporter James Rush (1:13:15) was best from CC Sudbury despite losing the feeling in his feet and recording his slowest ride yet in this event. Ben Loxton (1:18:39) was best from West Suffolk Wheelers).
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This Sunday the Maglia Rosso cycle shop and country cafe near Bury St Edmunds is the base for their off-road sportive. There is a choice of 50, 75 or 100 kilometre routes, all suitable for cyclo-cross, gravel and mountain bikes. See the Maglia Rosso website for details.
For those who prefer tarmac under their wheels, the Wolsey Road Club reliability rides start from Bredfield Village Hall near Woodbridge, while VC Revolution have a similar event based at West Bergholt. For details see the clubs’ websites and Facebook pages.
RESULT: ELY & DISTRICT CC HARDRIDERS, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire: :
1 Felix Barker (ActiveEdge) 56:25, 2 Toby Cowell (Cambridge University CC) 56:28, 3 Rob Walker (CUCC) 56:39, 4 Mark Richards (DAP CC) 57:09, 5 Jack Brown (ActiveEdge) 58:10, 6 Ben Beynon (PedalRevolution) 58:18, 7 Lucas He (CUCC) 58:41, 8 Milo Chapman (Cambridge CC) 59:48, 9 Jack Kellam (Brixton Cycles) 1:00:54. 10 George Macfarlane (VC Norwich) 1:01:43.
Women: 1 Cindy Berry (Pedal Power Ipswich) 1:07:13, 2 Zena Palgrave (Ely & Dist) 1:20:19.
Vet on Standard:1 Frank Holmes (Chesterfield Coureurs);
Under 23: 1 Cowell;
Best on Road Bike: 1 David Halliday (Newmarket & Dist):
Team: Cambridge University CC (Cowell, Walker, Lucas He 58:41