Dengie Marshes win for Biggs
A war of attrition was fought out east of Burnham-on-Crouch as a field of over 60 in the Tour of the Dengie Marshes road race was whittled down to one – lone winner Adam Biggs of Basso Bikes.
Biggs made his solo effort with four miles to go, after 30 miles first in a two man break with Jon Mozley (Kuota) who was eventually second , and then in a threesome including team-mate Rob Sharman who was third. A further forty finishers were scattered all around the nine mile main circuit.
The 85 mile Dengie race has a reputation for sorting the field which is unmatched among current mass-start races in East Anglia. The main part of the course is on narrow, exposed, sometimes twisting, edge-eroded private farm roads on the marshes seaward of Southminster and Asheldham. This year the infamous unsurfaced cart track section was in benign mood - but the wind was not.
“It was the wind that did it” said Chelmsford rider Andy Lyons, winner last year and seventh this time. “All the big attacks happened in the crosswind”
Battle was joined early. Less than three minutes after the start riders were moving at 35 mph – according to power files from the bike computer of Ipswich Bicycle Club’s Tom Stephenson (33rd) – and the field was already falling apart. Attacks were continuous and after a couple of laps no group contained more than about a dozen riders.
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Winner Adam Biggs is from Derbyshire. He raced on the continent for the first three years of his senior career. After 18 months away from the sport he returned to racing this year, riding for Basso Bikes while working as their UK brand manager.
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1 Adam Biggs (Basso Bikes.co.uk) 3:20:05, 2 Jon Mozley (Kuoto-Road CC), @ 20 secs, 3 Rob Sharman (Basso), 4 Darren Barclay (Arctic Premier RT) @3.30, Martin Smith (Kuoto), 6 D Santoni (Pearson Cycles), 7 A Lyons (Orbea/For goodness Shakes) 8 D Davies (Kuota), 9 J Edwards (VC Meudon) @ 4.00 10, R Chamberlain (Team Corley).
* Third and fourth category road racers contested the Ciclos Uno 50 mile event at Matching Tye. Despite several attacks the field remained largely intact until the last lap when two breaks, each of two riders got together to stay away. Jason Hucklesby was the winner, continuing St Ives CC’s recent run of successes. Tom Neale (Inverse Racing) won the sprint for fifth place, out of a bunch which included local riders Jim Killeen (Essex Roads,9th), Richard Matthews (Maldon & Dist 15th and Gavin Moore (Stowmarket & District, 16th).
* Nino Piccoli (TTW/Pedal Revolution) won the Plomesgate 10 mile time trial on the Sudbourne –Bentwaters course in 22:14. He was eight seconds faster than Arctic Premier rider Matthew Miles. A drenching storm hit the race half-way through the starting order. Glenn Taylor (Shorter Rochford RT) who was fifth in 23:28, was among entrants who caught the worst of it, while Piccoli, starting last, had to pick his way around sand washed out onto the roads. Andrew Leggett (Stowmarket & District) was third in 23:15, James Eman (Anglia Velo) 4th in 23:38 and Gavin Moore (Stowmarket) 6th in 23:59.
1 Nino Piccoli (TTW/Pedal Revolution) 22:14, 2 M Miles (Arctic Premier RT) 22:22, 3 A Leggett (Stowmarket & District) 23:15, 4 J Eman (Anglia Velo) 23:21, 5 G Taylor (Shorter Rochford RT) 23:28, 6 G Moore (SDCC) 23:59, 7 D Murphy (Diss & District) 24:32, 8 P Peacock (St Ives CC) 25:11, 9 C Nudds (CC Breckland), 10 A Birt (Ipswich BC) 25:14.
* With an increasing number of club trophies on offer, the Stowmarket & District CC held an inaugural prize presentation evening at the Limes Hotel, Needham Market. Apache pilot Ray Robinson was guest speaker. The main time trial awards went to Lee Bark and Andrew Leggett, the road race trophy was won by Graham Cobb and the Ladies’ Trophy by Miriam Edwards. Other awards included the Riders’ Rider of the Year, which went to Gary Buckle and the Off-Road Trophy won by Graham Bacon.
* An astonishing record of 71 years membership of the Eagle Road Club has been brought to an end by the sad death of Albert Ayton. Albert’s cycling career stretched from being Eagle Novices Champion in 1939, through winning every Eagle club championship from 25 miles to 12 hours to riding Randonees at home and abroad in his 60s. Riding with Harry Edwards he twice broke the 50 mile tandem competition record, setting it at 1:46:17 as early as 1952.