Redgrave cyclo-cross circuit provides interesting challenge for riders

Steve James, from Wetheringsett, leads Dougal Toms over a bank at Redgrave. Photo: FERGUS MUIR

Steve James, from Wetheringsett, leads Dougal Toms over a bank at Redgrave. Photo: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant

The Redgrave cyclo-cross was a fine example of what an interesting and challenging CX course can be made out of an ordinary village sports field.

Stowmarket rider Gary Freeman (in front) enjoys his battle with Mark Richards (DAP CC)

Stowmarket rider Gary Freeman (in front) enjoys his battle with Mark Richards (DAP CC) - Credit: Archant

There were three sets of hurdles, of differing heights.

One set was only just proud of the ground so all could negotiate them while still in the saddle – except that they were craftily-placed on a steep climb, just after an off camber U-turn.

These introduced a new noise into the cyclo-cross soundscape – that of spinning chunky tyres on wood.

This was one of several places where competitors had to weigh up whether to run or ride according to their judgment or their personal strengths.

Josh Boyer (Ipswich BC) – his highest placing this season

Josh Boyer (Ipswich BC) his highest placing this season - Credit: Archant

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Brains had to work nearly as hard as legs and chests. And feature followed feature so closely that “no let up” was a frequent comment.

All the same, it was on a hard drag across longish grass that Stephen James made the move that set the Wetheringsett man clear in the lead of the climactic Senior race.

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Dougal Toms (Pedal Power Ipswich), currently relying on Deliveroo work as training, could not match him. James won, 92 seconds ahead of Toms, while a super-fast last lap brought league leader Seb Herrod home just five seconds later.

It was good to see Kieran Jarvis back in competition – taking fourth spot, while perhaps the most entertaining battle – for both the riders and spectators - was the ding-dong battle for what proved to be eighth place between two Suffolk roadmen – Gary Freeman (Fast Test) and Mark Richards (DAP CC).

A few places down the field Andrew Proffitt (Ipswich BC, 13th) and Max Holgate (Cambridge Junior CC, 14th) drew each other out to what for both was their best League score of the season.

Lauren Higham (LIV AWOL) continued her unbeaten run of women’s wins, followed by Alison Hogg (Push Sport), Louise Foley (Cambridge CC) and leading Veteran Jo Newstead (XRT) at respectful intervals.

There was another one-two-three win for the Forest Side Riders in the Vets 40-49 – with Matt Webber completing the share-out of wins.

Jimmy Piper won the Vets 50-plus where there were season’s best scores for local riders Dave Copland, Steve De Boltz, Colin Newstead, Adrian Smith, Paul Moss and Robert Smith.

Skilfully bunny-hopping the planks without dismounting Saffron Walden rider Alex Dale was cruising to a win in the Youth (12-16) race, when his chain bounced off. Suddenly the race was on again, with George Farrow-Green (Iceni Velo) dead level as the pair crossed the line with one lap to go.

However a slight misjudgement forced Farrow-Green to unclip on the mini-planks and it was enough to hand the win to Dale.

Bethany Barnett (King’s Lynn CC) took her second Youth Girls win, over a minute ahead of Martha Lebentz (Hadleigh CC), while Ellie-May Pledger (Lee Valley Youth) was third.

There was a second win of the season for Harley Gregory whose consistent performances have already put him at the top of the Under 12s league table. Gregory got away from early leader Dylan Starkey and had 38 seconds in hand at the end.

Top U12 girl this week was Mia Rutterford (Iceni Velo) who had over a minute in hand over Orla Kenna (St Ives CC)

In National Trophy cyclo-cross at the cyclo-park near Gravesend Sophie Wright (Renvale RT) was second in the Women’s race, outsprinting early leader Beth Crompton, but conceding the win to Ffion James.

Many local riders took the opportunity to sample National Trophy racing in advance of the Ipswich national round – which will be on January 7 at Trinity Park.

Veteran time trialists gathered at the Ipswich Holiday Inn for their annual prize presentation. Local trophy winners included Dave Green, Peter Horsnell, Chris Tye, and Matthew Smith. Special mention must be made of retiring Record Secretaries Tony and Sue Clarke who were awarded the Gordon Irons Trophy for Service to the East Anglian Group.


Diss CC Redgrave cyclo-cross: Winners and leading local riders:

SENIORS/JUNIORS: 1 Stephen James (Renvale RT) 11 laps in 58:07, 2 Dougal Toms (Pedal Power Ipswich) +1:32, 3 Seb Herrod (Strada Sport) + 1:37, 4 K Jarvis (OnForm) +3:41, 8 G Freeman (Fast Test), 9 M Richards (DAP CC).

WOMEN: 1 Lauren Higham (LIV AWOL) 6 in 43:17, 2 Alison Hogg (Push Sport), 3 Louise Foley (Cambridge CC) , 4 J Newstead (XRT/Elmy Cycles), 10 L Brown (West Suffolk Whs).

VETS 40:49: 1 Matt Webber (Forest Side Riders) 7 in 36:43, 2 Roger Maidment (FSR) +0:34, 3 Ben Lewis (FSR) +0:47, 5 G Davey (Stowmarket & District) +2:43, 10 M Wellsted (Amis Velo) +3:49.

VETS 50+ : 1 Jimmy Piper ( MS Society) 6 in 39:14, 2 Dave Copland (Ipswich BC) +1:22, 3 Paul Watson (West Suffolk Whs) +1:36, 6 S De Boltz (IBC) +2:48, 7 P Moss (Stowmarket ) +2:49, 9 M Robson (MTS) +3:25, 10 C Newstead (IBC) +3:30.

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