Comet Empson flies through

Every few years Gary Empson flashes across the cycling firmament like a returning comet. And he shows no sign of fading - on the latest visitation the API/Metrow rider put in a lifetime personal best of 49:41 in the Veterans TTA 25 on the Newmarket bypass.

This was 31 seconds faster than West Suffolk Wheeler Peter Balls while a personal best 50:25 from Mark Arnold could only gain third place for the Pedal Revolution rider from Red Lodge.

The event was planned as a “30” but was shortened to a “25” because of traffic queues leading to the Duxford Battle of Britain celebrations. There was an element of disappointment as Empson had hoped to replicate his 1991competition record 30 of 59:22.

However a 30mph+ ride at 25 miles and finishing ahead of Balls and Arnold must have been some compensation. Other local rider’s times included Anthony Stapleton (Chelmer CC) 50:45, Colin Willgress (Essex Roads CC) 53:17 and Neil Hornett (Chelmer CC) 55:10. The overall winner in this VTTA event was 80 year-old tricyclist Eric Marsh (PCA Ciclos Uno) whose 1:6:35 beat his age standard by the largest margin - 29 minutes 55 seconds.

The Stowmarket & District CC 10 on the Stowmarket to Bury St Edmunds road was won by Ian Cammish in 21:25, just three seconds faster than RAF Honington rider Dave Green. Conditions looked promising, but as Green set out on the long first leg to Woolpit his impression was that it felt “like riding through treacle” rather than air. The return leg was, of course, much quicker, but at 4.5 miles it was not long enough for riders to make up lost time.

As a summer of time-trialling draws to a close the popular “End of Season Lunch” organised by the Godric CC at Bungay will this year follow the East Anglian CC 25 on Sunday 26th September. Geoff Banham (01508 499860) has the details.

The Colchester Rovers 25 based at Great Bromley was won by Rob Young of the In-Gear team in 56:38, ahead of Andrew Leggett (Stowmarket & District,57:42) and promoting club members Mark Lloyd (58:30) and Phil Jarvis (59:05).

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The Orbea/For Goodness Shakes team dominated the Interbike road race on the Abberton circuit where team members Marcel Six, Andy Lyons, James Whatling and Ben Thompson took the top four places.

Lower category riders contested the Falling Leaves Road Race on the Wendens Ambo circuit. Here Scott Cousins (Maldon & District) won after breaking clear in company with Oliver Glackin (East London Velo) with one lap to go. Just over a minute later Vladimir Pillonka won the bunch gallop for third place

Bungay rider Shaun Aldous was in a class of his own at the Great Yarmouth Cycling Club’s races at Norwich Airport, the Extreme Sports Therapy/CCN rider lapping the field once and bidding to do so again. Behind, Ben McCluskey (VC Baracchi) took an inside line on the last corner and seized second place.

A West Suffolk Wheelers relay team contested the Knutsford Great Race, the penny farthing endurance race held just once every ten years. Barry Denny, Julian Colman and Glynn Smith covered an eventful 88 one-kilometre laps on Denny’s 1880 Hillman, Herbert & Cooper “ordinary bicycle” as these high-wheelers are properly called, to claim sixth place among the teams.

As a prelude to the EADT Cyclo-Cross League some 170 riders took part in the Tour of the Cornfields off-road Audax across the borders of Essex, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, covering the course of bridleways and byways in times varying from 3 hours 33 minutes to nearly seven hours.

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