Cycling: Herrod and Chastell triumph in Stow Scramble
PUBLISHED: 15:01 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:36 09 January 2020
Faced with some fiendish off-camber corners in the Stow Scramble at Haughley, women's winner Imogen Chastell did not hesitate to dismount and run, swirling her bike round in her wake, writes Fergus Muir.
In fact onlookers soon realised that many of top women were running here - it was the middlemarkers who were determinedly riding - at about two mph.
Off the start line it was Harley Pell who shot into the lead, but Chastell and Felixstowe rider Elvita Branch soon opened a gap before Chastell forged on to win.
As the race developed a blue CC Ashwell vest moved into the top placings and this turned out to belong to Hitchin firefighter Lillie Swan who overhauled Branch and Pell to take second overall and top V40 Women's award.
The biggest entry was in the Vets 50-Plus race where Jimmy Piper (Renvale RT) won from Ian Newby (Diss & District) and Dave Copland (Ipswich BC).
Before his race Piper was careful to think about tyre choice for the conditions- seeking the experience of Youth winner Joseph Smith and rival Callum Laborde who had been the first to race over the course.
Top Bury St Edmunds finishers were Mike Bowen (fourth) and Paul Watson (seventh) while top Stowmarket rider was event organiser Paul Moss who had swapped places with XRT/Elmy's Steve DeBoltz throughout the race.
There was a Stowmarket win in the final race of the day where Charlie Johnson (Fast Test) took the Junior category - his first win since Springfield in September.
Johnson was third overall in a race where eventual Senior (age 18-39) winner Seb Herrod (Rotor) came through to the front as early pace-setters fell by the wayside.
James Madgwick broke his chain charging up the steepest of several tough climbs that were a feature of the Haughley Park course which was on ground restored after quarrying for the construction of the A14 trunk road.
International rider Joe Kiely who had been contending for the lead with Madgwick,lost a minute on just one lap disentangling his gears from the course-defining tapes. Super-fast final laps were not enough to get Kiely back to the front.
Kieran Jarvis (BrotherUK) took second, while Kiely was fourth , behind Johnson.
Top Orwell Velo finisher was Chris Crabtree (13th), while Dan Hall was best from Colchester Rovers. There were season's best scores from Troy Wingar (Gipping Race Team) and Roy Rowland (Velo Schils).
Seb Herrod attributed his success to "Knowing when to push on and when to be sensible"
All the more important on a course like this, craftily designed to test rider's skills.
Straight from the start, three competitors dominated the Vets 40-49 race: Beccles rider Stuart Pryce, Ben Lewis (Forest Side) and visitor Neil Ellison.
Lewis - already assured of the overall league win - was the first to drop back. Ellison and Pryce tested each other for longer, but eventually Ellison, a big, strong rider from west London who is an occasional visitor to Eastern League races took the win by 50 seconds Pryce was second, Lewis third with fourth placed Glen Davey (Stow& Dist) three minutes behind the winner.
There was a record entry of nearly 50 for VC Baracchi's 50 mile reliability trial, with riders following a route from Oulton Broad to Halesworth and Homersfield, returning via Stockton and St Olaves.
Wensum Valley Cycling hold a 50 mile reliability trial this Sunday (12th). Based at Great Witchingham Cricket Club NR9 5QP, non-members are welcome and the first groups, of slower riders, will leave from 9am.
For details see the Wensum Valley Cycling page on Facebook, or ring 07940 282610.
Then on Sunday 19th January, VC Baracchi's trial based at Oulton Broad is over 100km (about 62 miles). For details see their Facebook page.
The East District Cycling Association Prize Presentation is on Sunday 26th January at Carbrooke Village Hall near Watton, preceded by a 50 km warm-up ride, with refreshments to follow.