Senior battle goes right to the wire
THE battle for the Senior Grass Track Championship of the East went right up to the wire at the Bury St Edmunds meeting organised by West Suffolk Wheelers.
First Ipswich Bicycle Club’s Tim Snook won the sprint final. Then Tony Wilkins (Team Endura) spotted that the tight circuit at the Priory School would lend itself to “round the outside” attack at a higher speed than was possible on the inner line – and was rewarded with victory in the Devil-take-the Hindmost.
Therefore the championship was decided by the last event, the five kilometre. Late arrival Mike Smith (Colchester Rovers) won, but eyes were on the Snook/Wilkins duel. Lapped competitors were scattered round the oval and Wilkins made the better job of zipping around them and beat Snook to claim the crown.
Senior riders had a shock in the madison when the under-16 pairing of Keiran Brady (Ely & District) and Alan Trolove (West Suffolk Whs) got away to such a good start that seniors expecting to overhaul them later in the race found they had left it too late.
Trolove also took the Under 16 championship, clubmate Ed Ballam the Under 14s and James Jackson of Colchester Rovers the Under 12s. Sue Wood is ladies champion, her Maldon club won the non-championship club team sprint and Alex Wilson of West Suffolks the Freewheel Juvenile Handicap Omnium.
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n Duncan Murphy (Diss & District) won the Stowmarket 20 mile time trial based at Debenham in 47:20. Murphy’s technique in a quiet-road time trial time trial like this is to put his biggest effort in up the hills.
The hills occur the first few miles between Pettaugh and Ashfield and Murphy found himself hanging on through the twisting lane section to Occold and was then faced by an unexpectedly tough headwind on the B-road back to Debenham. But he hung on successfully, finishing 23 seconds up on Ipswich BC’s Angus Jardine with Steve Gorbutt (Diss & District) a further four seconds down.
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The CC Breckland 12 hour was abandoned when the A11 was closed after a collision between a car and Will Dorsett of the North Norfolk Wheelers.
Dorsett was flown to hospital by helicopter but is recovering well.
n The Orbea/For Goodness Shakes team which so dominated the regional road race championship faced a tough task when matched in the 90 mile Omloop Radwinter against a four-man team from Oxford cafe outfit Team Zappi’s led by Joe Skipper.
The Lowestoft roadman was part of a break of 11 riders that went clear at 65 miles and stayed away. Orbea’s Dan Kogan made a lone bid but was pulled back and five riders remained in contention at the start of the final climb. Skipper attacked three times, and finally no one could hold him. Orbea’s Marcel Six (Orbea) was second.
Perhaps it was the Flemish name – omloop is variously translated as “circuit” or “big criterium”- but certainly the Essex race attracted a class field – the first third category rider was 34th in the result. Due to roadworks in Radwinter, it was actually held on the Littlebury/Wendens Ambo circuit.
n Beccles roadman Ben Nicolson put his experience to good use to win the first criterium at Norwich Airport Park & Ride.
“It was a bike handler’s course” said EST/CCN rider Nicholson With eight corners in a lap that took no more than a minute to complete, the field soon split in this event promoted by North Norfolk Wheelers.
It was Nicholson’s team mate Shaun Aldous, training hard for the forthcoming cyclo-cross season, who whipped it up from the gun and blew the race apart. Only a few could live with him, including Nicholson, VC Baracchi members Nick Esser and Mark Westrup, Liam Gentry (VC Norwich) and EST youth rider Josh Hannan. Eventually it was just down to team mates Nicholson and Aldous and Nicholson took the win.
There is room for more competitors at future events at the Norwich Airport Park & Ride -see the Norwich Crits page at www.lotuscycleracing.org for details.