Sean Dunlea sprint is too much for Stephen James in Broome Heath Scramble

The senior leaders at the Broom Heath Cyclo-cross from the front: Stephen James, Sean Dunlea and Mat

The senior leaders at the Broom Heath Cyclo-cross from the front: Stephen James, Sean Dunlea and Matthew Webber - Credit: Archant

There was a nail-biting finish to round off a brilliant day at the Broome Heath Scramble near Bungay.

Sean Dunlea leads Stephen James during the Broom Heath Cyclo-cross

Sean Dunlea leads Stephen James during the Broom Heath Cyclo-cross - Credit: Archant

The senior men’s race was dominated by a high-speed battle at the front between Sean Dunlea (Neon Velo), Stephen James (Renvale RT) and Matthew Webber (Hackney GT).

Webber has chalked up three league wins this winter, but was dropped leaving James and Dunlea locked to fight it out.

Dunlea later commented that “Steve was ridiculously fast in the singletrack”. But Dunlea (18) is half James’s age and has a formidable sprint. James needed to get away, and after a failed attempt over the top of the sandy run-up, he planned another attack over a ridable climb which had alternative routes – but there was a backmarker on one route and James had to follow Dunlea, who duly took the sprint.

Nevertheless James described the duel as “thoroughly enjoyable”.

Broom Heath winner Sean Dunlea

Broom Heath winner Sean Dunlea - Credit: Archant


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Not far behind, Richard Dunnett (Team CCN) and Ross Tricker (XRT/Elmy) had their own private battle with Dunnett putting in a decisively fast final lap to claim fourth place and come close to catching Webber for third.

A cold but bright day on the former sand and gravel pit made for fast racing though the surface was slippery in places.

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Local man Shaun Aldous chalked up his tenth successive win in the 40-49 Vets and had the satisfaction of leading Iceni Velo clubmates John Swindells and Paul Groombridge to a 1-2-3 at the top of the result.

Katie Scotter (Iceni) put herself in an unbeatable position at the top of the women’s league when she took maximum league points for her second place while non-league member Anna Buick marked her return to racing after injury with the race win. In an eventful race Sherilyn Powell crashed heavily but is recovering.

Scotter also crashed, losing her chain, and had to pass a lot of riders to get back to the sharp end of the field. Meanwhile Buick, riding for event organisers Push Sport, was able to exploit her MTB skills to build a secure lead, while Ipswich rider Jo Newstead finished third.

Ian Robson (Ipswich BC) led the 50+ race on the first lap with Bruce Mackie (Lee Valley) taking over on lap two.

By lap three however Richard Muchmore (Revel Outdoors) was in front – where he stayed to take a win that confirmed him as League 50+ winner. Geoff Bores (Ford CC) and Tony Wilkins (Wolsey RC) are also assured of first and second respectively in the 60+ age group.

Adam Colbert (IBC) led off the line in the Youth race but eventually Michael Parry from St Albans got his first-ever League win. In the under 10s Max Rethman (Colchester Rovers) had just four seconds in hand over Mark Lightfoot in the season’s longest duel for League supremacy - Lightfoot leads by three points with three rounds remaining.

On Wednesday Chelmsford rider Dunlea was racing again at Saint Nicolas in Belgium but crashed out and faces at least a few days off in the run up to the big Belgian holiday events

On Boxing Day at Henley Community Centre awards will be presented for the Ipswich Cycling Association evening time trial series.

At 11am there will be fun “Guess the Distance” competition on a new route devised by John Adams with the ICA Presentations following at around noon.

Ipswich BC members Dave Copland and John Terrell found muddy conditions when they travelled to Bradford for National Trophy cyclo-cross. Riding in the 50+ category Copland got his best result (13th) since the first round, while Terrell was 34th. Bury St Edmunds rider Sam Asker was 17th in the Under 14s.

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