Skeats streets ahead of the competition to win Mildenhall Rough Ride

Matt Skeats (second right), Matthew Mantle (sixth right), Dan Sutton (right)

Matt Skeats (second right), Matthew Mantle (sixth right), Dan Sutton (right) - Credit: Archant

Matt Skeats was the clear winner of Mildenhall Cycling Club’s annual Rough Ride on Sunday, finishing over six minutes ahead of his closest rival, Matthew Mantle.

The 23-year-old stormed off from the start of the 5.2-mile circuit, leaving the rest of the field in his wake.

By the end of the first lap of the four-lap event, Mantle was already trailing him by nearly two minutes, with his younger brother Ryan leading the chasing pack nearly a further minute back in the contest.

Averaging an impressive 16.2mph over the fire routes and tracks at Emily’s Wood in Thetford Forest, Matt continued to build up his unassailable lead ahead of Mantle and, barring mechanical failure, they were both assured of the top two positions in the race early on in proceedings.

Behind them there was a real tussle for third, with four riders (Dan Sutton, Pete Clements, David Robb and Ryan Skeats) neck-and-neck at the end of the race’s second lap.


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By the end of the penultimate lap, Robb had slipped back and during the final lap, even Clements could no longer keep up with the younger Ryan Skeats (20) and Sutton (22).

Despite having raced over 20 leg-sapping miles they still had the energy to sprint up the long drag up to the finishing line, to produce a thrilling burst for the line with Sutton just beating his friend by one second.

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While Matt and Ryan were racing at the sharp end, their mum Karen and dad Martin took it more leisurely.

But after Karen stopped, having completed two laps, Skeats senior then followed his eldest son’s example and produced a super ride to overhaul some of the riders in front of him to claim seventh place.

Fourteen-year-old Colin Mantle, the sole competitor in the Under 18 category, made it all the more impressive as he averaged over 10mph to complete the 10.4 miles in one hour, one minute, 24 seconds.

Results: Matt Skeats (1:16;44), Matthew Mantle (1:23;20), Dan Sutton (1:24;27), Ryan Skeats (1:24;28), Pete Clements (1:25;11), David Robb (1:27;53), Martin Skeats (2:00;18), Mark Burchett (2:03;55), Diane Mantle (2:10;47).

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