Hall wins sprint to claim victory in Cycle Club Sudbury Road Race
PUBLISHED: 14:36 22 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:36 22 August 2019
A brave first-lap attack paid off handsomely for Gemma Melton and Francesca Hall in the Cycle Club Sudbury Road Race, writes Fergus Muir.
40 miles is a long way to stay away when a chasing bunch has many riders to share the work. But Melton (Pedal Power Ipswich) and Hall (DAP CC) eventually helped by Nicole Oh (Les Filles) and Polly Mason (DAP) did stay away - making full use of their bike-handling skills to gain on the twisty country roads of the long Bulmer circuit
Melton, having carefully assessed the tricky fast approach to the finish, was the first to start the sprint and nearly made it to the flag - but was overhauled by Hall who took the win from Oh.
This result promotes Hall to First Category status. Her teammate Mason was fourth while the rest of the field contested the remaining prizes a lap early - so far did they drop behind the leaders.
Nathan Blackmore (Flamme Rouge) was heading for a lone win in morning race for men when, in a sudden rain-shower he crashed. But he got up and still won - nine seconds clear of Felix Barker (Active Edge).
Matt Carter (Velo Schils, seventh) and Beck Row rider Jake Towler, eighth, were the first local finishers in a race now dedicated to the memory of CC Sudbury's Len Finch.
The penultimate round of the Mud, Sweat & Gears MTB race series was held on a tight, twisty, up and down circuit in the woods at Radical Bikes near Ingatestone, Essex.
In a hotly contested race for age 40-49 vets four riders held the lead at some stage starting with Glenn Stanford on lap one, giving way to Dan Howe, then Ben Lewis and Stanford again and then Robert Cross.
By this time Howe's bottom bracket was disintegrating, but though the cranks were starting to hit the frame he lost astonishingly little time.
"It just made it twice as hard" said the laconic Ipswich rider.
Lewis finally took the win followed by Stanford, Robert Purcell, Cross and Howe in that order.
Among the Juniors, local rider Fred Gill worked his way up to fourth in mid-race but finally had to settle for fifth. Elvita Branch was top female while Laura Brown (West Suffolk Wheelers) was second in the 18-39 Sport class.
West Suffolk Wheelers scored a team win in the VC Baracchi 50 with Dale Sturman (1:57:44), Adam Baker (2:00:28), and James Wood (2:06:41)
Ben Stancombe (VeloVelocity) and Somerleyton veteran Jenny Anderson were the individual winners in a breezy VC Baracch 50 in the Waveney Valley. Both had comfortable winning margins - Anderson (2:19:18) having a six minute advantage over Beccles triathlete Michelle Sayer.
Stancombe's time was 1:46:03 and his nearest challenger was Baracchi's own Lucas He - currently riding in Cambridge University colours - who came home in 1:51 17, just a minute quicker than John Bradbury (CC Sudbury).
72-year-old Chris Nudds (2:05:16,plus 26:39) was best on age-standard with Hedingham rider Simon Daw (Datalynx-Parensis) next on 1:57:24 (plus 24:08).
The previous afternoon Stancombe had clocked 47 mph in the Cambridge CC 15, so strong was the tailwind on the so far largely hedge-less Cambridge - Caxton Gibbett road near the new town of Cambourne.
After the headwind return leg, Stancombe (VeloVelocity) still had an average speed of 31 mph and a time of 28:53 for sixth spot, behind winner John Wingfield (27:53).
In the accompanying tandem event Lowestoft pair John Swanbury (age 72) and Allistair Banks (a mere 64) were just six seconds off a national age record with their time of 34-14.
Velo Velocity took the team prize at the VC Norwich 10 based at Morley, where Matthew Senter (Perterborough CC) was overall fastest in 19:39.
Frequent visitor to the east Claire Emons was top lady in 22:44 ahead of Denise Hurren (23:50) while Ian Pike whipped his tricycle round in 23:33 to take the Veteran's prize.