Big solo win for Mark Richards at Ixworth Criterium Races

Mark Richards (left) attacks, Toby Parnell hangs on, while Harley Matthews (green helmet) blocks at

Mark Richards (left) attacks, Toby Parnell hangs on, while Harley Matthews (green helmet) blocks at Ixworth. Picture: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant

A sun-drenched afternoon of cycle racing in the Suffolk village of Ixworth climaxed in a long solo bid for victory by Mark Richards, writes Fergus Muir.

James Newton (CC Sudbury) leads a group down Commister Lane in Ixworth. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

James Newton (CC Sudbury) leads a group down Commister Lane in Ixworth. Picture: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant

The DAP CC rider was away on his own for twenty minutes encouraged by spectators all the way round the tight one kilometre circuit.

“I didn’t know so many people knew my name “ he said afterwards.

Richards held on to his lead and lapped all but second-placed Sean Purser (St Ives CC) by the time he took the flag.

This was Richards second competitive ride of the day – in the morning he had taken fourth place in the VC Baracchi 10 mile time-trial near Harleston.

The Men’s Cat 2/3 Podium – L-R Sean Purser, Mark Richards, Charlie Wright. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

The Mens Cat 2/3 Podium L-R Sean Purser, Mark Richards, Charlie Wright. Picture: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant


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The Ixworth race started at a blistering pace with many riders soon trailing off the back. Richards attacked at the top of Ixworth High Street. Toby Parnell (PCH) went with him and Sean Purser (St Ives CC) was the only other one to evade the blocking of Richards’ DAP teammate Harley Matthews.

Also from DAP and riding her second event of the day was Frankie Hall who was top woman at Ixworth – after a 23:11 ride in the VCB 10. The women’s race was incorporated win that for the Vet 50-plus men. Hall worked with Karen Tostee from London and won their two-up sprint.

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Midlander Philip Heath was top Vet in a race where local heroes included 62 year-old Vince Ellis (Velo Schils, third) and James Newton (CC Sudbury, fifth).

Promoting club West Suffolk Wheelers had a winner in Harley Gregory who won the Under 12s race after working well at the front with Oscar Martin (Stratford CC).

The Women’s podium at Ixworth – L-R: Karen Tostee (2nd), Frankie Hall, Hannah Davey. Picture: FERGUS

The Womens podium at Ixworth L-R: Karen Tostee (2nd), Frankie Hall, Hannah Davey. Picture: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant

Tom Cockerill (Rockingham Forest Whs) won the Fourth Cats race from Charlie Gregory (Octave), with Ian Thomas (Videre RT) fourth. Incidentally, Honington-based Videre RT are organising two road races at Croxton, near Thetford on Sunday 9th June.

A spirited ride by Jake Crossley (Colchester Rovers) took the Under 16 rider to second place behind Harrison Powell (Lea Valley Youth).

Phoenix Bikes hosted the fourth round of the MSG Series at their spectacular purpose-built facility at Kentford. Features include probably the highest drop-off in the East, berms (banked corners) that see some competitors near to the horizontal and humps that can be launch-pads to putting five feet of air under the wheels ...for rider’s thrills, if not speed.

It was sunny and hot, with much handing up of bottles from the pits.

Nevertheless Nick Ainsworth (Aerocycles), second in the Vets 50-plus, said it was “Hard to take a drink, it was so bumpy”.

Ainsworth was beaten by Jimmy Piper – returning to the fray after a break and now in Renvale black.

Fastest of all on the day was Vet 40-49 rider Paul Lloyd, visiting from Oxfordshire to check out the venue which will be used for National XC Series racing on 9th/10th June. Andrew Cockburn and Seb Herrod took the top two Elite/Expert places.

Top adult woman was former triathlete Nicole Beck (Epic Orange) who revelled in the challenging course - “Lots of twisty stuff and berms”, she said.

Even faster than Beck were Juniors Lauren Higham and Emily Ashwood, while the Under 16 Girls saw a close battle between Cambridgeshire girl Harley Pell and Martha Lebenz from Bury St Edmunds.

Pell’s foot came unclipped last time over the stone steps and after a moments chaos it was Pell who got to line first.

Matthew Senter (VeloVelocity, 19:41) was the winner of the VC Baracchi 10, mentioned above, while perhaps the most notable time was a new women’s course record of 22:16 by Rebecca Johnson from Henley near Ipswich.

The men’s record-bashing happened in the Plomesgate CC 25 at Tunstall where Woodbridge roadman Ross Fawcett (Pedal Power Ipswich) sliced 1:28 off course record with his winning 53:09.

Fast tens at Six Mile Bottom, Newmarket, on Saturday included 18:54 from Senter, 21:29 from Frankie Hall and 19:54 from Joe Spalding (Ipswich BC).

RESULTS - IXWORTH CRITERIUMS:

Men Cat 2/3: 1 Mark Richards ( DAP CC), 2 Sean Purser (St Ives CC), 3 Charlie Wright (Strada-Sport), 4 Harley Matthews( DAP CC), 5 Josh Aiken (Pedal Power Ipswich), 6 Ben Beynon (Strada-Sport), 7 Freddie Grover (Fast Test RT),8 Callum Riley (OnForm), 9 Will Swarbrick (OnForm), 10 Andrew Taylor (VC Norwich), 11 Matthew Day (Pedal House), 12 Chris Crabtree (Orwell Velo).

Women: 1 Frankie Hall (DAP CC), 2 Karen Tostee (Hub Velo), 3 Hannah Davey (Hub Velo), 4 Katie Ward Peterborough CC), 5 Amy Johnson (West Suffolk Whs), 6 Donna Dale (Walden Velo).

Fourth Cat Men: 1 Tom Cockerill (Rockingham Forest Whs), 2 Charlie Gregory (Octave), 3 Rob Kitchen (East Coast Riders), 4 Ian Thomas (Videre RT), 5 Andrew Harbourne (North Road).

Masters 50+: 1 Philip Heath (Ashfield RC), 2 Andy Defrates (VC Norwich), 3 Vincent Ellis (Velo Schils),4 Glenn Whellams (4T+ Cyclopark), 5 James Newton (CC Sudbury).

YOUTH – U16: 1 Harrison Powell (Lee Valley Youth), 2 Jake Crossley (Colchester Rovers), 3 Alex Dale (Lee Valley Youth).

Girls: 1 Tilly Malbon (Barking & Dagenham), 2 Bethany Barnett (Kings Lynn CC),3 Martha Lebentz (Hadleigh CC).

U14: 1 Noah Hobbs (Lee Valley Youth), 2 Alfie Salmon (Lee Valley Youth), 3 Joseph O’Brien (Lee Valley Youth). Girls: 1 Anoushka Minale (CC Hackney), 2 Jodie Taylor (Team Terminator), 3 Amy Harvey (Barking & Dagenham).

U12: 1 Harley Gregory C West Suffolk Whs),2 Charlie Yardy (LVYCC), 3 Henry Hobbs(LVYCC). Girls: 1 Carys Lloyd, 2 Bobbie O’Brien, 3 Abigail Biggs (All LVYCC)

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