Sophie Wright and Jimmy Piper claim local wins in National Series mountain bike races at Kentford
- Credit: Archant
National Series mountain bike racing brought top riders from across the country to the Phoenix Cycleworks off-road facility at Kentford near Newmarket, writes Fergus Muir.
The visitors did not have it all their own way however, as there were wins for East Anglians Sophie Wright and Jimmy Piper.
Wright, now back living in the region and riding off-road for the Brockford motorsport business Renvale, headed her race in company of series leader Kerry Macphee. Both were overtaken by Harriet Harnden who, starting two minutes later, was riding to victory in the shorter Junior race, but Wright, having dropped Macphee, forged ahead to win the seven-lap Elite/Expert event – the flagship women’s race.
Piper didn’t have a good start in the Veterans 50-59 race and was initially behind rivals from more obviously mountain-oriented clubs like CC Abergavenney and Barrow Central Wheelers.
However minor pile-ups helped Piper up to the lead group. And the Suffolk course, squeezed between the A14 road and the railway, is partly in a former gravel pit where Phoenix Cycleworks have devised spectacular high drop-offs.
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Each had a viable, but slightly slower “B” line, and two of Pipers rivals were taking these options. However Piper, a former paragliding champion, is used to not making mistakes with space below his feet and took the “A” lines. He won by 12 seconds.
Also in this “Grand Veterans” race was Paul Watson, (West Suffolk Wheelers, 7th).
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Most local rider of all was Jason Bouttell from Newmarket, happy with sixth in to final Elite Male race.
The Herrod family results were headed by dad Nigel, the Beccles rider overjoyed with second in the Vets 60+. Both sons took fifth places – Seb in Expert category, Zac in Sport.
The new Videre Racing Team pioneered a new triangular road circuit at Croxton near Thetford – organising separate races for higher and entry-level riders.
With a quality entry, action started early in the senior race with five riders breaking away. With top teams all represented – Richardsons/Trek, ActiveEdge, OnForm and Pedal Power Ipswich – the group stayed away and the win went to Oliver Maxwell (Richardsons/Trek).
Jim Bradford (Cambridge CC) exploited the sharp cornered, stop-start nature of the four mile circuit to bridge across to the leaders from the bunch – and take fifth place.
The very next day Bradford won the Eagle RC race at Elmdon, where Jack Hardwicke (Pedal Power Ipswich) was top Suffolk finisher.
Returning to the Videre races, their event for third and fourth cats ended in a sprint finish in which Callan Swanson (Cambridge CC) won from Jack Bracey (Strada Sport) and Spencer Laborde (Iceni Velo) with Joseph Kaye (sixth) top Videre man in the result.
Cindy Berry (Pedal Power Ipswich) took the East District CA 10 mile women’s championship at Tottenhill in 23:17, 38 seconds clear of second-placed Becky Murley (Wisbech Wheelers).
Matthew Senter won the men’s championship in a new record of 20:45 for the same horseshoe-shaped course just south of King’s Lynn.
Second was VeloVelocity teammate Ben Stancombe in 21:46. Veteran’s winner David Procter made it a remarkable one-two-three for the Bury St Edmunds-based team with his 20:20 for third fastest overall.
A stretch of new-laid chippings and a headwind on the final leg of the course were not ideal for speed, but Charlie Knowler (West Suffolk Wheelers) put in a personal best 25:57 to win the Junior Championship.
Ben Stancombe won the Ely & District 10 in 20:39 at the head of another VeloVelocity 1-2-3. Steve Cave (21:59) was top finisher from the Plomesgate CC, Adrian Pettitt, 22:13 best from the Stowmarket club while Simon Daw 22:42 was top Velo Schils finisher. Wendy Gooding (Team Bottrill, 24:30) was women’s winner while Alex Cooper (West Suffolk Wheelers, 28:52) won the Youth award..
In the Maldon 10s Aaron Freeman (Chelmer CC) won the London East Youth Championship in 21:56, while the promoting club’s Harry Wood (22:11) was third overall in the Open 10.
EAST DISTRICT CA 10 MILE CHAMPIONSHIP, Tottenhill:
MEN: 1 Matthew Senter (VeloVelocity) 19:4,2 Ben Stancombe (VeloVelocity) 20:46, 3 David Procter (VeloVelocity) 21:20, 4 Andy Sewell (Aspire Velo RT) 21:25, 5 Jorge Vieira (Pedal Revolution) 21:33, 6 Kevin Hobbs (Peterborough CC) 21:35, 7 Steven Neill (King’s Lynn CC) 21:51, 7 Oliver Milk (Tri-Anglia) 21:51, 9 Keith Dorling (Team Bottril) 21:54, 10 Nick Partridge (Plomesgate CC) 22:05.
WOMEN: 1 Cindy Berry (Pedal Power Ipswich) 23:17, 2 Becky Murley (Wisbech Whs) 23:55, 3 Anna Muir (Chelmer CC) 24:04, 4 Jen Smart (VC Norwich) 24:35, 5 Kay Burgess (King’s Lynn CC) 25:06, 6 Sarah Senderski (Team Bottrill) 25:15, 7 Rachel Holman (Ride Harder) 25:47, 8 Jenny Anderson (Great Yarmouth CC) 26:07.