Smailes is all smiles afyer Orwell Velo Road Race win
- Credit: Archant
The Orwell Velo Road Race featured a convincing win for a pro-aspirant from Ireland and a nail-biting sprint for the remaining placings between Nick Flexman (Colchester Rovers) and Harry Wood (Maldon & District), writes Fergus Muir.
Winner Cian Smailes, from Dingle in West Kerry, slipped off the front of the race on a downwind leg near Helmingham and was joined by DAP CC’s Tim Guy.
The pair worked together to build a substantial lead but when veteran Guy began to find he could hardly gasp a reply to the young Irishman’s cheerful chat he elected to drop back to the shelter of the bunch rather than risk blowing completely.
The 60 mile race was held on a new 6.5 mile Helmingham-Ashbocking-Otley circuit.
Early action included a break by Colin Peck (Chelmer CC) and Istvan Varga (Rapha CC), but the field were mostly intact until Smailes took flight.
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45 seconds after Smailes took the flag alone the bunch sprinted over the long mile from the top of the climb to the finish line. At the front Harry Wood (Maldon & District) and Colchester Rover Nick Flexman both hugged the nearside – and the shelter of the hedge - with Wood, despite his Junior gears, spinning across the line a few feet in front to take second place, followed by Nick Flexman (Colchester Rovers) taking enough points to move up to Second Category, and Hector Corey (St Ives CC).
There were some outstanding efforts by local riders in the National Youth Championship time trial - formerly known as the GHS 10 – which was held on the Morley – Wymondham and back course.
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Results are currently provisional, but Chelmer CC rider Aaron Freeman’s ride of 20 minutes exactly places him fourth out of 110 finishers, all of them regional qualifers.
Other outstanding rides by local club members included Jake Crossley (Colchester Rovers, 21:34), Arthur Hitchins (Ipswich BC, 23:30), Bethany Barnett (King’s Lynn CC, 24:18), Charlie Knowler (West Suffolk Wheelers, 24:37), Ella Johnson (CC Sudbury, 25:34) and Joe Wakelin, Godric CC, 27:19).
Adult riders contested the Norwich ABC 10 on the Redenhall – Bungay course where winners were Jan Smith (Great Yarmouth CC, 22:38) and Nick Partridge (Plomesgate CC, 20:58).
With his A-Levels out of the way, Lucas He (VC Baracchi) sped round the course in 21:26, taking second overall and leading a winning VCB team backed up by Paul Hayward (22:05) and Paul Dennington (22:31)
Next morning Lucas He (21:30) was only two seconds slower than Partridge in the Plomesgate CC 10 at Wickham Market. Winner however was Joe Spaulding of Ipswich BC in 20:24, just four seconds faster than Andy Proffitt (Ipswich BC). Top woman was Denise Hurren (Sole Bay Sport, 24:07).
Newmarket rider Matt Smith (Team Botterill) won the VeloVelocity 25 on the Newmaket bypass in 46:52. In this event Andy Proffitt recorded lifetime personal best of 48.52 at the age of 45, while also inside 50 minutes were Matt O’Brien, Plomesgate CC, 49:28, and Simon Hance, Ipswich BC, 49:52.
West Suffolk Wheelers are mourning the loss of their President, Don Picking, who has died at the age of 86.
Don had served the club in many roles including long spells as club magazine editor and chairman and was an active president right up until the present season.
There was a double-bill of off-road racing at Langdon Hills on Thameside. Push Sport promoted the final race of the Mud, Sweat and Gears MTB summer Series on Sunday and the opening cyclo-cross of the Eastern League the previous day.
Local MTB winners included Elvita Branch, Jason Bouttell, Nick Ainsworth, Laura Sampson and Dan Howe.
In the cyclo-cross Richard Muchmore won the Vets 50-plus, Alex Dale the Youth, while Holbrook rider Paddy Atkinson was third to World Junior Champion Ben Tullett in the big men’s race.....and went on to be second on MTB next day.
“I’m now pretty exceptionally knackered” was his comment afterwards.
RESULTS: Orwell Velo Road Race, Otley: 1) Cian Smailes (N-Fuse Identity Racing), 2) Harry Wood (Maldon & District,1st Jun) @45 seconds, 3) Nick Flexman (Colchester Rovers CC), 4) Hector Corey (St Ives CC) 5) Steven Messenger (East London Velo) 6) Peter Fuller (VC Norwich), 7 Owen Geeson (Fast Test), 8) Peter Brooks, 9) Ben Howell (Strada Sport) 10) Dougie Allen (Velo Schils).
NORWICH ABC 10, Wortwell: 1) Nick Partridge (Plomesgate CC) 20.58, 2) Lucas He (VC Baracchi) 21.26, 3) Simon Scott (Anglia Velo) 21.31, 4) John Bradbury (CC Sudbury) 21.32, 5) Stuart Weatherley (TPH Racing) 21.39, 6) Paul Hayward (VC Baracchi) 22-05, 7) Gavin Lewis (Velo Schils) 22.14, 8) Graham Denny (North Norfolk Wheelers) 22.24, 9) Paul Dennington (VC Baracchi) 22.31, 10) Ed Dean (Norwich ABC) 22.39. Women: 1) Jan Smith (Great Yarmouth CC) 22.38.