Chelmsford rider Sean Dunlea wins XRT/Elmy Cycles Ipswich ‘cross
- Credit: Archant
In a race that kept spectators on their toes, Chelmsford rider Sean Dunlea won the XRT/Elmy Cycles Ipswich ‘cross after Matt Holmes had looked secure in the lead.
League leader Holmes was in front from the start and by mid-race was 20 seconds ahead of Dunlea, who was contending for second spot with Stephen James (Renvale RT).
Suddenly watchers realised Dunlea (Neon Velo) had dropped James and was closing on Holmes.
While James – who needed the win to maintain a chance of the championship – slipped back, Dunlea flew past Holmes into the lead and stayed there to take the flag.
Holmes (Arctic/Tacx) finished second but, as Dunlea is not a league member, Holmes took maximum points to gain in an unbeatable position in the championship.
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Meanwhile James finished fourth after being overhauled by a late burst from Hackney GT rider Ben Lewis.
The weather and the course at Trinity Park were in much more benign moods than when Dunlea won there in horrendously wet conditions in November.
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On Sunday it was a dry, brisk winter’s day and the course included less woodland singletrack and more surfaced road - but the same muddy roller-coaster stretches as in the earlier round. This time, however, the mud that built up on bikes on the sticky sectors shook off on the firmer bits.
The big question was whether to ride or to run the muddy sections. Katie Scotter (Iceni Velo) already assured of the women’s championship, opted for running and the decision served her well – she won by 59 seconds from November winner Jo Newstead (XRT/Elmy Cycles).
Dave Copland (Ipswich BC) took the 50+ race, though Simon Hime (Finchley RC) put up a good fight over the early laps. Geoff Bores (Ford CC) and Tony Wilkins took their accustomed first and second places in the 60+ age group, while third 60+ was Clive Tricker (Ipswich BC) just one place ahead of Barry Denny (West Suffolk Whs).
The battle for the third league position between these two thus goes right up to the 18th round, which is again at Trinity Park on Sunday.
The Under10s championship was settled with a win from Max Rethman (Colchester Rovers).
Rival Mark Lightfoot, very much off-colour, made a brave attempt to race, but desisted after the first lap.
Top local rider in the Under 12s was third-placed Daniel Hall (Colchester Rovers) while Sam Asker from Bury won the Under 14s.
The best of the sun was enjoyed by the Vets 40-49s where John Swindells (Iceni) took his first win and Mike Bowen (West Suffolk Whs, 4th) and Steve DeBoltz (Ipswich BC, 12th) both got their best placings of the season.
In the Tour of Egypt, 20 year-old Mark Yale finished 16th in the young riders classification and 48th overall while Dom Schils from Marks Tey was 49th overall.
There is an opportunity to hear Best British All-Rounder, Adam Topham, on Saturday 7th February when he will be the speaker at the Godric CC Dinner at Bungay.
Tickets are £17 and Margaret Sheppard on 01986 892907 will be pleased to book you in.