Nichols claims dramatic win
THE result of round ten of the Elmy Cycles League was in doubt to the very last moment.
Three riders were still in contention at the end of the senior race at Hempton near Fakenham. Ipswich rider and former BMX pro Ross Tricker, Andrew Nichols from Chelmsford and Tim Guy, who had won on the similarly wooded and technical course at Mistley last month had been together throughout.
Shortly before the finish there was a plank cunningly placed at the bottom of a sandy run-up. If it could be jumped while astride the bike, the climb might be ridden to advantage.
Nichols got there first, dismounted, vaulted the plank and ran up the climb. Guy followed suit. Tricker bunny-hopped the plank and rode past the running Guy, but could not get up to Nichols.
So Nichols (PCA Ciclos Uno) won from Tricker (XRT/Elmy Cycles) and Guy (Iceni Velo). Cameron Toms won from a larger than usual junior field, with Callum Riley (Newdales/Giant) from Saffron Walden next and junior league leader Patrick Cook (Ipswich BC) taking third junior spot after a close battle with George Farrell (Welwyn Wheelers).
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The course, mostly in the wooded bottom of a former sandpit, twisted and turned over a carpet of leaves which were wet and slippery as the morning fog cleared.
Experience and skill counted for a lot. Joolz Halpin (Maldon & District) scored her first league win in the women’s race. Phil Buick (Iceni) with just 35psi pressure in his tyres, took 33 seconds out of arch-rival Bruce Robinson in the veteran’s race.
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“Too many small turns for me,” said Robinson (Shaftesbury CC). Richard Muchmore (West Suffolk Whs) was third.
Sean Dunlea (PCA/Ciclos Uno) was clear winner in the Youth race, but William Raymond (Welwyn Whs) had only three seconds in hand when winning the Under 12s after a close race with Pierce Bacon (Ipswich BC).
Young Suffolk riders making their mark further afield included Alan Trolove from Bury St Edmunds who finished up 12th overall in the Future Stars omnium at the Revolution 34 meeting on the hard track in Manchester and Hugo Robinson (XRT/Elmy Cycles) who was 13th in the GVA Trofee cyclo-cross at Hasselt in Belgium, on a fast, flat course including sandpits and cobbled road sections. Robinson will be busy again this weekend, racing on Saturday in the World Cup race at Koksijde in Belgium and next day in the UK National Trophy at Derby.
Members of the Chelmer CC hailed their prizewinners at a dinner dance at the County Hotel, Chelmsford. Club Champions were Anthony Stapleton and Ann Shuttleworth.
John Cannon was awarded the John Wright Meritorious Shield while a special award for services above and beyond the call of duty was presented to Mick Somers by guest of honour Graham Pedley.
At the annual presentation evening of Lowestoft club VC Baracchi, Liam Gentry received the Rider of the Year trophy, while the women’s awards were mainly shared between Jenny Anderson and Nicky Hawkes.
The Charles Grimmer Cup for service to the sport was awarded to Mike Rainton for his Lands End to John O’Groats charity fund-raising rides.
Results of Eastern Cyclo-Cross League Round Ten:
Seniors, Juniors, Elite Veterans: 1 Andrew Nichols (PCA Ciclos Uno) 11 laps in 1:01:12, 2 Ross Tricker (XRT-Elmy Cycles) +0:03, 3 Tim Guy (Iceni Velo) +0:03, 4 Hayden Wood +1:13, 5 Philip Roach 1st Elite Vet (Rugby Velo) +1:45, 7 Cameron Toms 1st Jun (Iceni Velo) +2:56.
Women: 1 Joolz Halpin Woman/Vet (Maldon & District) six laps in 41:48, 2 Katie Scotter 1st Woman (VC Norwich) +0:58, 3 Elizabeth Chittenden Woman (Eagle RC) +1:35. Veterans: 1 Phil Buick Vet 50+ (Iceni Velo) seven laps in 42:08, 2 Bruce Robinson Vet 50+ (Shaftesbury CC) +0:33, 3 Richard Muchmore 1st Vet (West Suffolk Whls) +0:52, 4 Tony Wilkins Vet 50+ (Mareterra Bike Team) +1:13, 5 Colin Cracknell Vet 50+ (Ipswich BC) +1:28.
Youth: 1 Sean Dunlea (PCA Ciclos Uno) six laps in 33:16, 2 Cameron Woolsey (CC Ashwell) +0:36, 3 Tom Stead (Nice Tri St Neots) +2:34.
Under 12: 1 William Raymond (Welwyn Whls CC) seven laps in 14:28, 2 Pierce Bacon (Ipswich BC) +0:03, 3 Sophie Holmes (Diss & District CC) +1:14.