Nicholls shows his class once more

ALREADY assured of the Elmy Cycles League Senior Championship, Chelmsford cyclo-cross rider Andy Nichols won the final round at Mistley.

ALREADY assured of the Elmy Cycles League Senior Championship, Chelmsford cyclo-cross rider Andy Nichols won the final round at Mistley.

So the Cambridge graduate completes the League season unbeaten with nine wins, and led Ciclos Uno to the Ivan Jeckell Trophy for club participation too. In the club competition Nichols was helped by Sean Dunlea who had seven wins in the Youth races.

However Dunlea wisely seized every opportunity to race in the cyclo-cross hotbed of Belgium and consequently needed a result at Mistley to complete a full set of counting rides.

Sadly for him, a broken finger, a basketball injury, prevented that.

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Recent rain made the wooded valley-side course at Furze Hill, “the hardest and muddiest of the season,” said Ipswich BC’s Paul Rippon. The climbs were steep, and on dismounting riders found their feet going backwards in the leaf-mould as quickly as the bike went forward.

In the women’s race, Sherilyn Powell (Chelmer CC) took her first win, lifting herself into the bronze medal position in the League at the last gasp. Jackie Field (Ipswich BC) and Diane Mantle (Mildenhall CC) gained their best positions of the season.

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A determined ride saw Pierce Bacon (Ipswich BC) win the final Under 12s round, moving himself up to second place overall, one place up on last season. Bacon finished 1:13 ahead of second-placed Bob Longstaff (Colchester Rovers) who claimed a podium position for the first time.

Phil Buick (Iceni Velo), already sure of the veterans’ championship, had another clear win, ahead of West Suffolk Wheeler’s climbing expert Mike Bowen. Greg Simcock (Scott UK) won the Elite Veteran classification, ahead of Dave Copland (Ipswich BC) – a result which took Copland to the bronze medal spot in the League just behind Colchester man Ben Paton – now, incidentally, in business as a mobile bike mechanic.

A seventh win in the junior class confirmed James Jobber (Colchester Rovers) as Junior League Champion. Theo Doncaster (CC Ashwell) won the Youth race, but the League win goes to Cameron Woolsey (CC Ashwell) – a reward for an outstandingly consistent season – only one win but never below fourth place. His final round was not without excitement – his chain broke and disappeared in the undergrowth. “I looked down and there was nothing there” he said. Luckily it was a shortish run to the pits and his spare bike.

MEANWHILE, Brian Webber was the guest of honour at the Cycle Club Sudbury dinner in Long Melford in recognition of the service he has given to the club in most capacities since its formation in 1979. Chairman Dave Fenn reported that membership, now 115, had doubled in the last five years.

The main trophy winners included Rob Davies, who picked up the Vets Best All-rounder cup and the 50 and 25 mile Time Trial cups, and Stewart Kirk who won the B.A.R. cup for 25, 50 & 100 miles. Top lady in the club is undoubtedly Barbara Law who took a host of trophies and had also won a bronze medal in the age-related World Duathlon championships.

The Rider of the Year award went to Jonathan Weatherley for his remarkable improvements in time trials.

Several members had earlier in the day ridden a wind-swept Norfolk Nips 100 km Audax-style ride in Norfolk. CC Sudbury has strength in depth in distance riding enthusiasts and it took 8,066 kms ridden in Audax events to win the Sudbury Audax Trophy for Peter Faulks.

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