Lewis Pendle takes a first win in Mid-Suffolk Road Race after attack at Willsham Tye
The Mid-Suffolk Road Race saw a first open road race win for Lewis Pendle (Iceni Velo) after he and Joe Skipper (Strada Sport) rode off the front of a break of about ten riders which had dominated the race.
Pendle attacked on the main hill at Willisham Tye. He was joined by Skipper, a former regional road race champion, now a successful international triathlete but with no recent road race form. The pair worked together to consolidate their lead and at the finish Skipper gifted the win to Pendle - who only started racing last year.
This Fast Test-sponsored race was held on a triangular course through Offton and Barking Tye against a background hum of combine harvesters at work. Pendle, Skipper and Mark Richards (VC Baracchi) made the first break - but their lead disappeared when the entire race was neutralized when it met a combine moving between fields.
At the re-start the bunch voluntarily gave the break a little gap, but inevitably set off slightly raggedly and the upshot was the enlarged break of strong riders which never looked likely to be caught.
After Pendle & Skipper, Rob Ormond (Fast Test) and Josh Aiken (Stowmarket & Dist) took the next two places, both securing promotion to second category licences, ahead of Ben Locke (Maldon & District)
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Ten miles in 25:24 at the age of 77 put Len Benton (Colchester Rovers) on top of the Best on Age Standard list at the Veterans’ TTA 10 on a warm afternoon in the Waveney Valley.
Using the Wortwell-Bungay & back version of the course, the oldest “Vets” were well on form. Eddie Fone (Norwich Amateur BC) set a new Veteran’s TTA East Anglian Group record for age 88 - a time of 35:46, while Len Finch (CC Sudbury) - at 83 thought to be the oldest Suffolk rider currently time-trialling – put in a 31:37 effort. This wasn’t enough to win the 80-84 age-group prize, though – that went to Jim Caplin (Godric CC, 28:39) a mere youngster at 80.
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Fastest of all was 41 year-old Mark Arnold (CC Desiragear, 21:15). Most popular phrase describing the wind direction was “All over the place” - I’ll leave it at that.
There were wins for Suffolk MTBers at the Mud Sweat & Gears round at Radical Bikes in north Essex - Liam Manser took the Sport category, Dan Howe (Vets) Paddy Atkinson (Juniors) and Richard Muchmore the 50+. The course was a very tight one with a lot of singletrack and one wide headwind straight. Very dusty, apparently - riders “finished looking like they had been down the mines” said one rider.
Though still a Junior, Chelmsford trackman Mitch Powell (Team Terminator) took the silver medal in the national 800 metre grass track race at Hertford where national champion Andrew Leverton just held on gold. Fast times from local riders in the VTTA 25 on the Newmarket bypass included Mark Arnold 50:54, Dave Green 52:03, Sean Taylor 53:21 and Damon Day 53:36.
Daniel Bloy (VeloVelocity) bounced back from his encounter with the road surface in the EDCA 100 to break course record for the Fincham- Mundford course winning the King’s Lynn CC 25 in 53:39 from Gary Empson (Anglia Velo, 54:17). “Quite tough – harder going out” was Charlie Nurse’s verdict on the conditions – he was sixth in 56:32.