Pritchard in a class of her own on way to hat-trick of Pat Pepper Trophies
Amy Pritchard, twice a previous winner of the Pat Pepper Memorial Trophy, returned to the Waveney Valley to win the cup for the third time in the Wolsey RC 25, writes Fergus Muir.
The valley was lush and green, but it was windy and on-and-off wet, with climbing into a headwind past the Earsham pigs prominent in many competitors' memories.
Pritchard was in a class of her own, her time of 1:00:59 being nearly four minutes faster than second-placed Jen Smart (Velo Velocity, 1:04:52).
This year Pritchard is riding for her coaching set-up Team Bottrill – who have their eyes on the women's team time trial championship. However she is still very much part of her central London club, Giant Camden, who brought a spirited team of ten to the event, several trying competitive cycling for the first time.
Third place was closely contested between Jenny Anderson (1:07:55) and her younger Great Yarmouth CC rival Jan Smith who was one second slower. While most riders were slower this year than in 2018, the Vet 60-plus category Anderson was three minutes faster – such is the spur of competition among clubmates.
The Wolsey RV men's event was won by Matthew Senter (Peterborough CC) who finished in 52:24. King's Lynn rider Senter had difficulty with his visor steaming up, but was still up 34 seconds up on second-placed Lloyd Chapman.
Chapman (Plomesgate CC) was very comfortably clear of his clubmate Ant Birt (57:33). Fourth and best 50-Plus veteran was Hedingham rider Simon Daw in 58:17 – a time over a minute slower than his ride in the Wolsey event last year and some indication of the hard conditions.
There was a glint in the eye of CC Sudbury 65-Plus category veteran Dave Fenn as he double checked the result. The Wolsey RC run separate events for women and men and with the men's field quite small, Fenn's 1:15:35 gave him 16th place and a splendid points boost in the Sporting Courses East competition, where he already lies in third place overall. A good example of the value of SPOCO East to riders competing in more traditional style events.
In the CC London Road Race near Saffron Walden David Veitch (Lea Valley CC) won alone after breaking away with Toby Hunt (Verulam CC) and Nick Harpur ((Islington CC). Top local finishers in a scattered bunch finish included Justin Fisk (Stow & District, seventh), Oli partner (Colchester Rovers, 11th) and David Clark (Orwell Velo, 12th).
First and second category roadmen contested the St Ives CC Road Race where Kenninghall rider Tom Fitzpatrick won after riding away from a breakaway group with three miles to go, securing an Elite licence in the process.
Also in the top ten were Dom Schils (Velo Schils, ninth) and Gary Freeman who carried his new Pedal Power Ipswich kit to tenth place.
Perhaps the cyclists most aware of the strong westerly winds across the region were the 57 who set out from Cambridge at 6am Saturday on the 300 km (197 mile) Capitals of Anglia Audax ride. After visiting Ipswich and Norwich the final leg across the Fens to Cambridge is unlikely to be forgotten.
For many, including Lowestoft rider Kate Churchill, this was a qualifying ride on the way to entry in the 1200km French classic Paris-Brest-Paris.
On Mayday Bank Holiday Monday afternoon there is spectator-friendly Round-the Houses racing in Ixworth village centre – just off the A143, between Bury St Edmunds and Diss. Racing starts at 12 noon and the last race starts around 3.50pm
On the following weekend comes Beccles Cycle for Life charity ride on May 12, with distance options of 8, 16, 25, 41 and 50 miles.
Advance entry closes on May 4th. After that, entry on the day is £20 per head or £40 for a family group of four people. Cycling helmets must be worn this year.
Full details are available on the event website becclescycleforlife.org.
WOLSEY RC 25s, Wortwell: WOMEN: 1 Amy Pritchard (Team Bottrill) 1:00:59, 2 Jen Smart (VeloVelocity) 1:04:52, 3 Jenny Anderson (Great Yarmouth CC) 1:07:55, 4 Jan Smith (Great Yarmouth CC) 1:07:56, 5 Sarah Kelman (St Ives CC) 1:08:24, 6 Kathy Smith (Sleaford Wheelers CC) 1:09:22, 7 Jo Fisk (Ride Harder) 1:10:52, 8 Madeleine Heywood (Lea Valley CC) 1:13:23, 9 Gaelle Lebray (Tri London) 1:15:10, 10 Kimberly Broom (Giant Camden Team Liv) 1:19:05, 11 Siu-Yun Ko (Giant Camden) 1:20:57, 12 Isobel Atkin (Giant Camden) 1:21:27.
MEN: 1 Matthew Senter (Peterborough CC) 52:24, 2 Lloyd Chapman (Plomesgate CC) 52:58, 3 Antony Birt (Plomesgate CC) 57:33, 4 Simon Daw (Datalynx-Parenesis) 58:17, 5 James Rush (CC Sudbury) 1:00:29, 6 Philip Watkins (North Norfolk Whs) 1:00:39, 7 Adrian Manley (3T-RACING) 1:01:29, 8 Dan Foster (3T-RACING) 1:01:31, 9 Ed Dean (Norwich A BC) 1:02:46, 10 David Smith (Sleaford Whs) 1:04:50.
CC LONDON ROAD RACE, Wenden's Ambo: 1 David Veitch (Lea Valley CC), 2 Toby Hunt (Verulam – reallymoving.com),3 Nick Harpur (Islington CC), 4 Jonas Rooze (Team LDN), 5 Zak Buttle( Islington CC), 6 Aaron Stone (CT OnForm), 7 Justin Fisk (Stowmarket & District), 8 Jacob Clapp (Jam Cycling), 9 Jonny Bodey (Cambridge University), 10 Oliver Partner (Colchester Rovers), 11 David Clark (Orwell Velo).
ST IVES CC Road Race: 1 Tom Fitzpatrick (Private Member), 2 Frazier Carr (Spirit Tifosi), 3 Adam Strudwick (GPN builders), 4 Timothy Torrie (Vitus Pro Cycling), 5 John Hale (WORX), 6 Ashley Cox (Flamme Rouge), 7 Marcus Burnett (Zappi RT), 8 Jake Hales (Spirit Tifosi), 9 Dominic Schils (Velo Schils), 10 Gary Freeman (Pedal Power Ipswich).