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Crabtree is King of the Hill in Sudbury

PUBLISHED: 14:42 18 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:42 18 October 2018

Chris Crabtree bounded up the short, sharp Semer Hill in just a fraction over 40 seconds to win the CC Sudbury Hill Climb, and with it the East District Championship.

His six second margin was massive on such a short climb – like winning a “25” by seven minutes.

Crabtree (Orwell Velo) had won the classic Bec CC event in Surrey the previous week, but said: “It was awesome to take the win at Semer in front of home crowds, family and friends on Sunday.”

His time was 40.1 seconds against 46.4 from second-placed Ross Fawcett (Pedal Power Ipswich). Lee Ford (46.4) ensured CC Sudbury had a representative on the podium, while Matt Day (47.1) took fourth and was first man from the TPH team based at The Pedal House, Hadleigh.

TPH’s star, though, was probably women’s winner Becky Ridge who stepped up from second last year to take the Ladies Championship with a five second improvement to 58.8 seconds.

TPH also took the team championship with former champion Graham Collins (47.6) and Team Principal Adam Chamberlain (49.6).

Competitors and the crowds on the hill – which is near Hadleigh – were fortunate that rain cleared about half an hour before the start.

Crabtree explained: “The climb was wet but still grippy, even with the leaves on the road. No wheel spin, not much wind.”

Top finisher from Ipswich BC was Kirstin Hamilton (third Lady) while Lewis Symes and Tom Foster were joint fastest from Manningtree Wheelers on 49.7.

Best from West Suffolk Wheelers was Under 16 rider Oscar Woodward (55.1) ahead of fellow U16 Charlie Knowler (59.6), the latter having competed the day before on the contrasting climb of Radar Hill, Maldon which took two minutes 59.1.

The “Silly Suffolk” Audax ride took riders along a quiet roads route from Lowestoft to Bawdsey and Orford (100 mile version) and included Thornham near Diss for the brave souls like John Swindells (Iceni Velo) tackling 200 kilometres.

Plenty of cake stops serving as route controls – or in the case of CC Breckland vegan Mark Fairhead, toast-and-jam stops. It only rained towards the end.

But it rained jolly nearly all day at the Eastern League cyclo-cross at Welwyn, though the course held up remarkably well.

Tall hurdles on a long uphill climb were a challenge, as was a muddy switchback on the side of a hill – though remarkably few actually fell off there.

Top Suffolk result came from Gemma Melton (Pedal Power Ipswich) who held young winner Lauren Higham for the first third of the distance and was 51 seconds clear of third-placed Alison Hogg at the finish.

Stevenage junior Higham returned to ride the hour-long final race of the day – against the Senior and Junior men.

Juniors did very well in this - there were five Juniors in the top ten – headed by Oliver Stockwell of Welwyn Wheelers.

James Madgwick was second with Lowestoft fireman Seb Herrod third.

Top Suffolk finisher was Jack Parrish who survived a crash to take fourth overall and second Junior, being very quick on the corners but not quite a match for Herrod on a straight-line mud-plug.

The Junior League is however still headed by Oli Partner of Colchester Rovers who has five points in hand after string of consistent performances.

Richard Muchmore (Renvale RT) led the Vets 50-plus race pretty much from start to finish. In this race there was a season’s best result for Steve De Boltz (Ipswich BC, sixth). Moving to the other end of the age spectrum, George Collins (Colchester Rovers) had a clear win in the Under 10s.

Top Suffolk finisher in Youth was fourth-paced Charlie Johnson (Stowmarket & District)

In the wet conditions V40-49 winner Matt Webber’s mountain bike seemed ideally suited – but the choice was actually forced upon him. He had found himself accidentally locked out of his bike shed and it was the only one he could get at!


OVERALL: 1 Chris Crabtree (Orwell Velo) 40.1seconds, 2 Ross Fawcett (Pedal Power Ipswich) 46.4, 3 Lee Ford (CC Sudbury) 46.8, 4 Matt Day (TPH Racing) 47.1, 5 Matthew Smith (DRAG2ZERO) 47.5, 6 Graham Collins (TPH Racing) 47.6, 7 Shaun Andrews (Ipswich BC) 49.3, 8 Adam Chamberlin (TPH Racing) 49.6, 9 Lewis Symes (Manningtree Wheelers) 49.7, 10 Thomas Foster (Manningtree Wheelers) 49.7.

WOMEN: 1 Becky Ridge (TPH Racing) 58.8, 2 Polly Mason (Pedal Revolution) 1:01.3, 3 Kirstin Hamilton (Ipswich BC) 1:04.7, 5 Rebecca Johnson (Fusion RT) 1:05.4, 6 Becky Murley (Wisbech Whs) 1:06.3, 7 Nicola Soden (Velo Schils) 1:07.4, 8 Shan Bendall (Tri Sudbury) 1:10.1.

JUNIOR MALE: 1 Thomas White (Colchester Rovers) 50.7, JUNIOR FEMALE: 1 Isabella Johnson (CC Sudbury) 1:12.4. JUV MALE:1 William Carlyon (Ipswich BC) 54.0. JUV FEM: 1 Hannah Johnson (CC Sudbury) 1:15.0.

TEAM: 1 TPH Racing (Day, Collins, Chamberlain).


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