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Woodcock shows toughness to win One Night in Thetford 12-hour race

PUBLISHED: 16:02 11 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:02 11 October 2018

Solo winner of the ONIT night 12-hour race at Thetford – Lee Woodcock from Thetford. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

Solo winner of the ONIT night 12-hour race at Thetford – Lee Woodcock from Thetford. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

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Thetford mountain biker Lee Woodcock raced through the night to win the solo category in the One Night In Thetford 12-hour night race in the forest near Brandon.

The winning Mixed Pair at Thetford – Jodie Cole and Mike Auger of Epic Orange. Picture: EPIC ORANGEThe winning Mixed Pair at Thetford – Jodie Cole and Mike Auger of Epic Orange. Picture: EPIC ORANGE

The HKR member planned a steady ride with minimal stops and refused to be tempted into a battle when Tim Plimmer took an early lead. However Plimmer retired, leaving Woodcock well set up for a win with over a lap in hand.

Hours of rain before the start did not auger well, but the rain stopped, the skies cleared – and temperatures plummeted to below freezing.

Epic Orange had a good night with wins in both the Mixed Pairs and the Male Pairs, where there was a good showing from Bildeston-based LCUK (Neil Catling and Ryan Duncan) who were third behind “Team Santa Crutz”.

The Ashby family “Fen Boy Slackers” were dominant among the male teams and it was only in the dawn that Suffolk mixed trio of Elvita Branch, Laura and Andy Sampson were overtaken by the King’s Lynn MTB mixed four.

Gemma Melton wins the Women’s Race at the Eastern League cyclo-cross event near Hitchin. Picture: FERGUS MUIRGemma Melton wins the Women’s Race at the Eastern League cyclo-cross event near Hitchin. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

In Eastern League cyclo-cross in the Chilterns near Hitchin, a field of 41 women benefitted from a separate race, giving leaders Gemma Melton and Alison Hogg a clear course ahead of them.

Gemma (Pedal Power Ipswich) won by 11 seconds after surviving a late challenge from Alison. Melton then repeated her finishing sprint for the benefit of a Mark Wyer instructional video.

Adrian Healey (Stowmarket & District) took an exceptional second place in the Vets 50-plus, just ahead of Ipswich riders Dave Copland and Ian Robson. However a last lap surge from Simon Hime (Finsbury Park CC) won the day.

Team OnForm’s Kieran Jarvis took the Senior race after a puncture – even though swiftly dealt with – hampered a challenge from Ross Tricker.

Nicola Powell (Stowmarket & Dist) takes the hurdles at the Hitchin cyclo-cross. Picture: FERGUS MUIRNicola Powell (Stowmarket & Dist) takes the hurdles at the Hitchin cyclo-cross. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

Among the younger racers there was a Youth Girls win for Mollie Bilner of Hadleigh CC and a second place in the Under 10s for Colchester Rover George Collins.

For full results see www.easterncross.org.uk

In National Trophy racing in Derby there were top ten results for Suffolk riders Jack Parrish (eighth Junior) and Richard Muchmore (ninth 50-Plus).

Ipswich riders Chris Crabtree (Orwell Velo) and Josh Aiken (Pedal Power Ipswich) have been making their mark on the hill-climb scene in Kent and Surrey, culminating in a win for Crabtree in the Bec CC event.

Stowmarket’s Adrian Healey was second in the Vets 50+ at the Hitchin cyclo-cross. Picture: FERGUS MUIRStowmarket’s Adrian Healey was second in the Vets 50+ at the Hitchin cyclo-cross. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

Crabtree climbed Titsey Hill in one minute 49 seconds of suffering, with Aiken coming sixth in 1:54.9.

Earlier the same day Crabtree had come sixth again in the Catford CC climb. Aiken was 14th – out of 129 finishers in this great classic first held in 1887.

Rendlesham time trialist Stuart Fairweather won the Norwich ABC 25 in the Waveney Valley. Matt O’Brien (Plomesgate CC ) was second in 54:32 while 54 year-old Simon Daw (56:33) carried Velo Schils colours to the top Veteran’s award.

Meanwhile, a little bit of East Anglian cycling history was written last week when Nick Clarke (Lovelo/Cinelli) set a new mark of 15 hours and 24 minutes for the 349 mile route from Pembroke in west Wales to Great Yarmouth, an average of nearly 23 mph.

This was maintained over a route which is fairly flat over the final miles across Suffolk and Norfolk, but involves over 7000 feet of climbing in the earlier stages across Wales and the Cotswolds

This record has special significance for John Purser of Sudbury, who devised the it as a more accessible target, to stand alongside the more famous one from Lands End to John O’Groat – supervised by the same body, the 130 year-old Road Records Association.

Mr Purser was by the roadside near Thetford as an Official Checker, and saw Nick Clarke though, by then over an hour up on his schedule to beat Chris Hopkinson’s 2003 record of 16:58:02.

He commented: “Conditions were excellent for Nick, a lovely autumn day. When he passed me after over 12 hours, he was going like a train.”

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