Purser wins thrilling men’s race at Ixworth
- Credit: Archant
West Suffolk Wheelers’ Ixworth village centre races climaxed with a win for Sean Purser of the St Ives CC after a nail-biting senior men’s race.
Any one of a lead group of ten might have triumphed. There was a bid from former Regional Champion Mike Auger, then former pro Russell Hampton. When neither of these experienced men could sustain a gap their younger successors stretched out the field from the front
Last time past the wonderful little front-door cake stall on Thetford Road, just five riders remained in with a chance.
Dougal Toms (Exeter University) led round the sharp turn into Commister Lane, but entering the narrows just before the High Street, Purser got half a wheel in front. Kieran Jarvis, following closely, feared the pair would crash on the last corner. But they did not, and Purser took the win while Toms - from Norwich - was second.
Jarvis, ducking under the sweeping chequered flag, claimed third followed by Ben Thompson. Completing the top six were two of the major animators of the race - Seb Herrod (Strada Sport) and Martlesham coach Lloyd Chapman.
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The Women's race and the Men's 50-plus event were run off together. Sophie Lankford of pro team Jaden/Weldtite stuck close to Colchester veteran Mike Smith as the pair worked together to build up an unassailable lead. Both won their respective races.
The Ixworth races opened with a surprise win for 48 year-old Phil Marler of the Godric CC in the race for Fourth Cat riders.
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A thrilling Under 16s race saw four riders round the tightest corner abreast on the last lap. Callum Laborde (Iceni) took the win from Noah Hobbs, William Smith and Charlie Johnson (Fast Test).
There was a second place for Harley Gregory (West Suffolk Wheelers) in the Under 14s while in the Under 12s Henry Hobbs (Lea Valley Youth) won from Oskar Everett (Fast Test) and Ben Howlett (Suffolk Youth).
MTB riders headed for Carver Barracks on a cold Debden airfield, which fortunately has a big hump hidden in a wooded corner, surrounded by single-track. Nevertheless several races were settled by sheer speed on the airfield. One experienced competitor summed it up: "You had to be bold to get past on the single-track"
Felixstowe rider Eva Branch sped - indeed flew in some places - to the Elite/Expert women's win while Katie Scotter from Ipswich was top in Sport category.
An outstanding ride came from Andrew Roberts (VS Vecchi). The Vet 60-plus rider from Fressingfield who uses his retirement to race cyclo-cross from a base in Belgium, was second in category and is likely to join Branch, Scotter and several others as Eastern Champions.
The Plomesgate CC 25 encountered changeable conditions. Hail and wind made the most impression on men's winner Lloyd Chapman of the home club. His 55:32 was over three minutes clear of second-placed Ant Birt (59:04).
After a narrow defeat by Great Yarmouth clubmate Jenny Anderson in the Wolsey 25 two weeks ago, Jan Smith was clear woman's winner - 1:10:49 to 1:12:36.
Two days later, on Bank Holiday Monday, Denise Hurren (VeloVelocity) and visitor Sue Rust tied on 24:31for the win in the VC Baracchi 10, while third went to VeloVelocity's Jen Smart (25:04). Men's winner at Redenhall was Ben Stancombe (VeloVelocity 20:20), 20 seconds faster than second-placed Stuart Fairweather
Polly Mason won the Iceni Velo Women's Road Race with a massive solo effort that left the rest of the field scattered round a windy and cold Shotesham Circuit, near Norwich.
Mason (DAP CC), attacked the fourth time up Skeets Hill and quickly opened a gap which continued to grow to the finish. Yorkshire Junior Sarah Briggs outsprinted Gemma Melton (Pedal Power Ipswich) for the remaining placings.
In the men's race international triathlete Joe Skipper climbed away from his break companions Darren Rutterford (Iceni Velo) and Stephen Fuller (Cambridge CC) on the same hill.
RESULTS: IXWORTH VILLAGE RACES
Women: 1 Sophie Lankford (Jadan Weldtite),2 Holly Hoy (OnForm), 3 Gemma Melton (Pedal Power Cycles Ipswich).
Men 50+ 2/3/4 Cats: 1 Mike Smith (Rapha CC), 2 Spencer Nash (Bishops Stortford CC), 3 Andy Bathe (Cambridge CC).
Men 2/3/4: 1 Sean Purser (St Ives CC), 2 Dougal Toms (University of Exeter Cycling Club), 3 Kieran Jarvis (Cycle Team OnForm).
4th category: 1 Phil Marler (Godric CC) 2 Aston Bird (Orwell Velo), 3 Clement Palozzi (Walden Velo).
Youth: 1 Callum Laborde (Iceni Velo), 2 Noah Hobbs (Lee Valley Youth), 3 William Smith (Verulam - reallymoving)
Girls: 1 Amy Harvey (Barking & Dagenham CC),2 Lois Eaglen (West Suffolk Wheelers). Boys :1 Mark Lightfoot (Welwyn Wheelers),2 Harley Gregory (West Suffolk Wheelers), 3 Samuel Leslie (Lee Valley Youth), 4 Adam Lea Team Milton Keynes
Girls: 1 Jessica Lea Team Milton Keynes, 2 Jessica Woollas Sleaford Whls CC
Under 12 Boys: 1 Henry Hobbs Lee Valley Youth Cycling Club, 2 Oskar Everett Fast Test Race Team, 3 Ben Howlett Suffolk Youth Race Team. Girls: 1 Abigail Biggs (Lee Valley Youth).
ICENI VELO ROAD RACES, Shotesham near Norwich:
Men: Joe Skipper, 2 Darren Rutterford (Iceni Velo), 3 Stephen Fuller (Cambridge CC), 4. George Farrow-Green (Iceni Velo, First Junior), 5 Caolan Stowe (VC Norwich), 6 Jose Vicente-Garcia (CC Sudbury), 7 Adam Chamberlin (TPH Racing), 8 Adam Hole (VC Norwich), 9. Bjorn Krylander (Cambridge CC), 10. Daniel Drewery (Fast Test)
Women: 1. Polly Mason (DAP CC), 2 Sarah Briggs (RFDA, first Junior), 3. Gemma Melton -(Pedal Power), 4 Megan Panton (Project 51), 5. Donna Dale (Walden Velo), 6 Poppy Cooke (RFDA), 7 Heather Mayer (CC London), 8. Kimberlee Charlton - (DAP CC), 9. Katie Ward (Peterborough CC),10. Sophie Holmes (Datalynx-Parenesis).