Suffolk duo Manser and Lebentz triumph at Diss CC cyclocross
- Credit: Archant
Young Bury St Edmunds rider Martha Lebentz and Liam Manser (Renvale RT) from Ipswich were the Senior winners as the Eastern cyclo-cross season resumed after a short break.
The races were organised by the Diss CC at Redgrave Activity Centre - and competitors there needed to be good at getting off their bikes. As well, of course, as getting back on, feet clipped and driving on with the minimum of loss of momentum.
The course was scattered with dismounts - in the form of both ultra steep short climbs a well as planks -offered in several different heights.
It was excellently planned so that everyone could get round without unduly scaring themselves, but on which expert bike handlers and the super-fit could find plenty of opportunities to gain time. Though skies looked threatening the day remained fairly dry.
In the Women's race Martha Lebentz, still a junior, went immediately into the lead but first time over the biggest hump she dismounted unintentionally quickly - straight to the bottom, minus bike. However she kept her head, and the lead, remounting before anyone overtook.
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Looking quite unfazed Lebentz soon had a comfortable margin over Elvita Branch (Sussed-Out Suspension) and held this to the finish. Katie Scotter took third spot after a difficult moment disentangling a course marking post from her bike.
Jo Newstead (XRT/Elmy Cycles) was fourth and was the first V50 finisher, ahead of all the V40s.
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Ipswich rider Manser won the Senior and Junior men's race in commanding fashion. never losing the lead.
However, just behind him, the order changed a lot. Mostly the leading challenger being Colchester rider Cam Hurst (Bloodwise /QSW) just back from illness, with Norwich sixth-former Angus Toms also very quick. But the grass switchbacks at Redgrave are notoriously leg-sapping, and these two fell back.
This let Dickleburgh rider Kieran Jarvis come through to take second place and retain a narrow lead in the Eastern League, just ahead of consistent Basildon CC member Dean Hart.
Jarvis's ride hadn't been uneventful. "Had a lot of mishaps - it's that kind of course," he said afterwards.
But he was only 1:13 down on Manser at the line, with Junior winner Adam Lightfoot a quarter of a minute behind.
Among those scoring their best League results this season were Cam Hall (12th) and Roy Rowland (Velo Schils, 20th).
Best finisher from West Suffolk Wheelers was also a Junior - Oscar Woodward who was 16th. Best from the Diss CC was Brett Robertshaw (29th) while, incidentally, his son Mason was 20th in the Under 10s.
The Youth race was won by Jenson Windsor (VC Lincoln) with top local finisher Max Avery of Colchester Rovers who put in his best ride yet to take fourth spot.
Oliver Griggs from Bury St Edmunds was next local rider in ninth, while Alex Cutmore of the Hadleigh-based TPH team put in a season's-best performance and is now tenth overall out of 66 riders in the league.
The Diss Clubs chief hope for a home win rested on Garboldisham rider Ian Newby and he did indeed score maximum Eastern League points, but two visitors finished in the top places - Philip Roach winning from Kevin Holloway, with Newby third over the line.
Ben Lewis (Forest Side Riders) won the race for younger Vets - those aged 40-49, followed by Stuart Pryce (from Beccles), Shaun Aldous(Bungay) and Glenn Davey (Stowmarket).
Among many intriguing battles in the 50 rider field Stephen King (Stow & District) got in front of Stephen Brook (West Suffolk Wheelers) with one lap to go, but Brook, exceptionally fast running up the stepped bank, prevailed in the end.
For full results see: www.easterncross.org.uk
In National Trophy racing on a sandy course at Pembrey in Wales Iceni Velo's Joseph Smith took fourth place in the U16s race with clubmate Callum Laborde. seventh. Gemma Melton (XRT/Elmy) was 11th in the women's race which was won by Cambridge student Ffion James.