Fabian Horrocks triumphs on opening night of the 2017 Suffolk Cycle Race Series

A strong looking Aaron Freeman (Chelmer CC) leads the 8K race. Picture: KATE OLLETT

A strong looking Aaron Freeman (Chelmer CC) leads the 8K race. Picture: KATE OLLETT - Credit: Archant

Fergus Muir brings you all the latest cycling news from around the region in his latest column, including the Colchester Rovers grass track meeting, the Suffolk Cycle Race Series and the Great Cressingham Road Race.

Ian Lee (RAF Marham, left) begins his winning sprint at Great Cressingham. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

Ian Lee (RAF Marham, left) begins his winning sprint at Great Cressingham. Picture: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant

Colchester Rovers grass track meeting at Shrub End Sports Ground provided a great chance for their young members to show off the skills they have learnt at the club’s regular Monday evening grass track coaching events.

In the omnium – overall - results the Rovers winners were Oli Partner in the Under 16s, Jake Crossley (U14s), and Isaac Starmer (U8s) while West Suffolk Wheelers has an omnium winner in the Under 12s in Harley Gregory.

National Champion Mitch Powell was in his element winning the 800 metres dash, while his sister Sherilyn was top woman, though closely challenged by West Bergholt rider Ellie-May Pledger.

Climax of the afternoon was the eight kilometre where the stand-out ride was by Chelmer CC’s Aaron Freeman.


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Though well under 16, Freeman has scored enough ranking points to have dispensation to ride against the Seniors and with 800 metres to go he came off Laurence Lisher’s wheel to solo to an impressive solo win.

Fabian Horrocks of Team Vision was Senior winner on the opening night of the 2017 Suffolk Cycle Race Series at Trinity Park, Ipswich. Racing was on a handicap basis with a Third Cat group the first to start.

Suffolk rider Jack Hardwicke attacks with Harley Matthews on his wheel and Ross Fawcett (Pedal Power

Suffolk rider Jack Hardwicke attacks with Harley Matthews on his wheel and Ross Fawcett (Pedal Power) leading the chase at Great Cressingham - Credit: Archant

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The pace was hot with an overall average speed of 26 mph on the short multi-cornered circuit. As the field came together a lead group of 16 formed with Horrocks winning the sprint from Wisbech rider Matthew Webster and local man Liam Manser (Pedal Power Ipswich).

Manser’s Pedal Power teammate Gemma Melton got a good lead in the women’s race, but a big effort from Rebecca Johnson (Aprire/HSS) closed the gap and Johnson just took the win, with Melton second.

These two were in action again at the Great Cressingham Women’s Road Race in West Norfolk, which attracted a good field of 30 women including a strong team from Writtle College-based Team OnForm and a surprise late entry from European Junior MTB Champion Sophie Wright.

It was after Wright had taken the mid-race prime sprint that the race burst into action as the leaders set out to “ditch the stragglers and whittle down the bunch” as one of them put it. The result was a lead group of 15, and a decision by the commissaires to give the remainder a subsidiary finish one lap early.

Among the leaders Johnson, from Henley near Ipswich, took her chances on the last lap and attacked alone.

But Wright, Melton and Emily Meakin (Mammoth Cycles) launched a devastating counter-attack and the group was together at foot of the finish hill.

Ipswich rider Rebecca Johnson leads the field at the Great Cressingham Road Race. Picture: FERGUS MU

Ipswich rider Rebecca Johnson leads the field at the Great Cressingham Road Race. Picture: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant

Here OnForm’s Jessica Woodworth led out, with teammate Ashwood, from south London, taking over to win. Elizabeth Hughes was second while Gemma Melton was top Suffolk finisher in sixth place.

In the morning race for men the race was together with 12 miles to go when Jack Hardwicke (Strada Sport) attacked and was soon joined by Harley Matthews (DAP CC) and the by eight other strongmen to form a group which stayed away.

At the finish Ian Lee (RAFCA) a 25 year-old aircraft technician from Marham took the win, overhauling Tom Elwood (CC London, 2nd) and Sam Toy (Velo Schils, 3rd).

That summer hazard – loose chippings – affected both ends of the Godric CC 50 mile course in the Waveney Valley. VeloVelocity teammates Matthew Senter (1:48:51) and Daniel Bloy (1:51:59) dominated, but the stuffing does seem to have been rather shaken out of the rest.

The “10” course in the middle was not chipped, but the wind made for a very hard finish in Saturday’s Iceni Velo 10. Nevertheless Verity Smith (Stowmarket & District CC) updated her course record to 23:24. Bloy, top man in 20:34, commented:

“Fast – properly fast, 30 mph – out, but coming back was awful”

Newmarket time-trial specialist Matthw Smith (Team Bottrill) took fifth place in the National 50 mile Championship in North Yorkshire, finishing in 1:38:26 compared to winer Dan Bigham’s 1:36:23.

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