Skipper's winning start

EASTERN Region road race champion Joe Skipper has started his new season - with a win, a second place and a 135 mile warm-down ride, all in the space of two days.

Fergus Muir

EASTERN Region road race champion Joe Skipper has started his new season - with a win, a second place and a 135 mile warm-down ride, all in the space of two days.

Racing at the Hog Hill purpose-built circuit at the Redbridge Cycling Centre Skipper started from the scratch position in the opening handicap race, but rode right though the field to win.

After a short rest he was in the main race of the day which blasted off at a hot pace. Skipper got up to the leaders and then escaped with Dave Clarke (Pendragon). Only on the last hill did Clarke gain a few seconds to win.


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Next day Skipper set out from Lowestoft - where he was home for a few days from his Manchester University course - cycled to Norwich, completed the East Anglian CC's 75 mile Reliability Trial and rode back to Lowestoft. Goodness knows how many calories he burnt - which may be why Skipper is looking for a nutrition sponsor. If you might be able to help, please email Joe at joeskipper@hotmail.co.uk

Also racing at Hog Hill were Matt Cook (API/Metrow) who was 18th in the handicap and, from Skipper's home club VC Baracchi , Ben McClusky (22nd) and Nick Esser (20th in the handicap and well-placed until a late puncture in the main event). Sue Wood (Maldon & District) made a welcome return to racing, taking third in the women's event.

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In the Ely & District Hardriders 25 potholes left over from the icy weather were additional problems in this usually tough event. The organisers provided marshals to warn riders of the worst of them. Winner was Dan Staite, who will be Joe Skipper's team mate in the Cycles Dauphin RT. Staite beat scratchman Sam Barker (Planet X) 57:14 to 58:33. Newmarket rider Mark Arnold of the new www.TT-Weekly.com team was fourth in 1:00:05. Other local riders included Mark Lloyd (Colchester Rovers) 1:1:58, Tom Stephenson (Ipswich BC) 1:5:46 and James Rush (CC Sudbury) 1:6:05.

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