Hugo never looked like losing early lead

CYCLO-CROSS: First year Junior Hugo Robinson took the lead on the first lap of the XRT/Elmy Cycles Senior Supacross near Ipswich, and never looked like losing it. The win sets the Debenham schoolboy up perfectly for the National Championships at Derby on Sunday.

The key parts of the spectacular Foxhall Heath course climbed and descended the sides of a wooded mini ravine and demanded skill and fitness to a high degree. Robinson showed he has both in full measure. The circuit, which was largely dry under wheel, also included quite long stretches of hard road on the continental pattern, plus the usual grassland stretches.

Early in the race Robinson’s nearest chaser was another junior rider, Taylor Johnstone (Team De Ver). He was followed by Greg Simcock (Team Corley), Nathan Miller (XRT/Elmy Cycles) and Darren Barclay (Arctic Premier RT). Barclay made a bid for second place but two falls ended his bid, leaving Miller and Johnstone contending for second place. Miller crossed the line just ahead of Johnstone but the youngster appeared unhappy at the older rider.

It later emerged that the race commissaire had spoken to the two racers after the event concerning an incident near the pits on the last lap and though no official action was taken the riders reportedly agreed a revision to the result and Johnstone was credited with second place.

The destination of the senior Eastern League Championship remains in doubt. Neither of the top contenders, Andy Nichols (Cambridge University CC) who was seventh nor Shaun Aldous (EST, eighth) had a good ride. They are equal first and all depends on the final round at Mistley on January 23.

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The tightest finish of the day was in the veterans’ race where Phil Buick (Thetford MTB) held on by a whisker as Bruce Robinson (Shaftesbury CC) overhauled him on the fast, flat finishing straight. Buick had proved quicker on the technical sections and opened a gap in mid-race, but Robinson (no relation of Hugo) clawed his way back.

Third place went to Ipswich man Tony Wilkins sporting the new Jewson colours of his Mick Ives-organised team and fourth overall to women’s winner Corrine Hall (Team Corridori).

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The Category A status of this XRT/Elmy Cycles promotion attracted riders from far beyond the usual Eastern area and this was particularly true of the Youth event, where the winner was Harry Franklin from Bromley. Franklin’s nearest challengers were initially Josh Parkin (Arctic Premier) who punctured and Dylan Kerfoot-Robson (Rhos-on-Sea CC) who fell, allowing local stars Alan Trolove (West Suffolk Wheelers) and Sean Dunlea (PCA Ciclos Uno) to take second and third places. Best-placed Ipswich rider was Alwn Newstead in eleventh spot.

Brothers Dan and Ben Tullett dominated the Under 12s race, taking first and second. Great Yarmouth CC’s Zak Coleman was fourth and scored maximum Eastern League points, just ahead of Georg Jensen (Lea Valley) and Pierce Bacon (Ipswich BC).

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