Ipswich’s Robson overcomes puncture to win at Hempton

The 50+ race at Hempton....and after the storm broke.....Robson (IBC) scrambles up the mud-slide

The 50+ race at Hempton....and after the storm broke.....Robson (IBC) scrambles up the mud-slide - Credit: Fergus Muir

Halfway through the Summer Cyclo-Cross at Hempton, Ipswich Bicycle Club’s Ian Robson looked secure in the lead of the 50+ event.

His 35 second gap on Elmswell rider Paul Driver was opening up – first to 46 seconds, then 49 seconds. Then the heavens opened and conditions in the sandy, flinty, former gravel pit dramatically changed.

Robson punctured and was seen running through the woods with his bike. Hempton’s famous run-up became more like a mud-slide – and in the wrong direction.

He got back riding eventually but the lead was down to 20 seconds as the pair slithered up the climb in the downpour.

Driver was on the rampage and closing... but not quite enough. At the line the Ipswich BC Geordie hung on to the lead, with Driver (Amis Velo) coming in just nine seconds down.

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Conditions were just as bad for the women. Amy Cole (Iceni Velo) won, ahead of Louise Foley (Cambridge CC), with Rachel Clarke (Amis Velo) proving the star multi-tasker – finishing last and still acting as commissaire for the very next race with aplomb.

This was the hour-long race for Seniors where, in sunshine, Paul Groombridge won from Iceni clubmate John Swindells.

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Earlier, the Youth race witnessed a close and sporting battle between Jack Parish and Caelen Miller (Barking & Dagenham), who initially waited when the IBC lad’s chain derailed but eventually made sure of fourth place.

In the Under-12s, Aedden Seaward (Colchester Rovers) just lost out – but only in the final sprint – to Iceni’s Ed Coles.

In the Veteran’s 25, on the Newmarket bypass, it was in the older age-groups that local riders had most success in with Len Benton (Colchester Rovers, 1:01:35) taking the award for age 75-79 and also the Herbie Nevill Cup for best on age standard – named in honour of the long-serving VTTA official from Ipswich.

Len Finch (CC Sudbury, 1:21:01) was best in the 80-84 group, though slightly overshadowed by 85-89 winner Peter Horsnell (Chelmer CC, 1:10:44).

Glenn Taylor and Mark Arnold wasted no time on the tandem as they finished in 46:44.

A personal best 10-mile time trial of 19:54 put triathlete Joe Skipper at the top of the “Fastest” list in the Attleborough ten, also promoted – for all ages – by the VTTA.

Best Veteran on Age Standard was again Len Benton, who recorded 23:51, while oldest rider on the start sheet, Godric CC’s Jim Caplin (80), was pleased with his 28:27.

The Eastern Counties CA 25 on the Browick-Snetterton course was afflicted by swiftly deteriorating weather conditions, with the win going to VC Revolution rider Justin Holmwood in 53:26, ahead of regular visitor to the East Andy Stuart (VC St Raphael, 53:44) and tough roadman Phil Hargreaves (VC Norwich, 55:34).

The Eastern Road Race League counter was the Arbis-Colbert race in Bedfordshire, where an early break splintered under pressure from Clem Berrill and eventual winner Jacob Hennessy (Spirit Bikes).

James Jobber, now back in Colchester for the summer, led out the sprint from a chase group for fourth place, but had to settle for fifth behind Malcolm Dixon.

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