Heavy rains drain for Thetford race
CyclingWEST Suffolk mountain bikers were prominent at Round Two of the Marin Winter Series, held at Mayday Meadow, near Brandon. David Miller the API/Metrow rider from Weston Colville, was just edged into third place in the four-hour enduro for riders aged 16-39, Nick Ainsworth from Haverhill took third in the two-hour version and Nathan Colman of West Suffolk Wheelers was third in the Junior two-hour.
WEST Suffolk mountain bikers were prominent at Round Two of the Marin Winter Series, held at Mayday Meadow, near Brandon.
David Miller the API/Metrow rider from Weston Colville, was just edged into third place in the four-hour enduro for riders aged 16-39, Nick Ainsworth from Haverhill took third in the two-hour version and Nathan Colman of West Suffolk Wheelers was third in the Junior two-hour.
The astonishing drying qualities of the Thetford Forest mountain bike racing courses were demonstrated to the full when over 450 riders enjoyed near-perfect conditions on tracks that only three days before had been described as being “like a lake”.
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Bikes hardly needed cleaning at the finish.
Veteran Paul Ashby (Fat Birds CC) won the four-hour enduro race. After an early attempt to get clear only partially succeeded, Ashby dropped back to work with the leading group, which he slowly whittled down until only a flagging Luke Smith (Whyte Racing) remained.
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Smith deemed it unsporting to contest the sprint, so little had he been able to contribute over the final miles - and he was in any case assured of victory in the 16-39 age group where his nearest challengers were 10 minutes behind.
The start of the two-hour race was a sight to behold, with over 300 riders setting off at once. Again a veteran was the winner, in this case Jeff Sharpe from the Over The Hill team, who finished just ahead of Graham Warby and Ben Loaker.
Comeback rider Paul Fielding (Haverhill Whs), who was a 1995 Series winner, took fourth place among the 160 finishers in the 16-39 age group.
Ruth Owen-Evans (Salsa Racing) was the only woman to cover four laps of the 7.4-mile circuit within the two hours.
The flowing nature of the course was widely praised. It included a return to the twisting, rolling, generally descending section of the Forestry Commission's Black Route, popularly dubbed “The Beast” and the even more abrupt “Double Shocker” single-track climb, both of which are remarkably demanding of upper body strength. Selected results:
Marin Winter Series Round Two (Mayday Meadow)
Two-Hour Solo Men 16-30:
1 Graham Warby (Fig Rolls) 4 laps in 2-2:40,
2 B Loaker (Numplumz) + 0:03,
3 N Ainsworth (Fat Birds CC) +1:13,
Two-Hour Women: 1 Ruth Owen-Evans (Salsa Racing) 4 in 2-35:18.