Fine Thetford enduro win for Fielding

Paul Fielding, of Haverhill Wheelers, had a fine win in the final round of the Marin Winter Series mountain bike races in Thetford Forest.

Paul Fielding, of Haverhill Wheelers, had a fine win in the final round of the Marin Winter Series mountain bike races in Thetford Forest.

He made a fast start in the men's two-hour race, where only Dan Oakley, of Chelmer Cycles, could match his first-lap pace. However, Oakley fell back a little and although Euan Adams, of Red Kite, was making steady gains in the latter stages, Fielding still had 1:15 in hand at the finish.

Phil Buick, of Thetford team Salsa Factory Racing, made a cracking start in the race for riders over 40, holding eventual winner John McAndrew until he (Buick) crashed while overtaking a backmarker in the race ahead. He struggled to straighten his handlebars, his bottle cage was broken, and the rest of the race was a battle to get back on terms with the frontrunners. Buick just overhauled Duncan Walmsley (VC Lincoln) on the last lap to take third place.

The Marin Winter Series finished on a major high with this final round held in near perfect conditions on a course in the Brandon Park area that combined flowing singletrack with the toughest of Thetford Forest's climbs. In contrast to Round 3 this time there was no mud and no bombholes.


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With nearly 500 riders on a 6.1-mile circuit overtaking was critical and the fastest laps were put in by the leaders in the Four-Hour race just after the start - they were the first off. Winner of the 18-39 age group Billy-Joe Whenman (Activ/Trek) went round in 25:07, a time which no-one could match.

Veteran Paul Ashby (Fat Birds CC) punctured early, and felt that he overstretched himself trying to get back on terms with the leading young riders. He nevertheless won the veterans' 4 hour race by a margin of five minutes.

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Chelmsford rider David Nichols (Glendene/Biketrax) won the junior race, riding a lone race and opening a gap on second placed James Ashby (Fat Birds) at the rate of 90 seconds a lap. He was the only junior to do a fifth lap - and promptly got changed and dashed to the EADT League Prize Presentation to receive his Junior gold medal won at cyclo-cross.

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