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Piper calls the tune as brains matches brawn in Diss CC’s cyclo-cross test

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:47 29 November 2017

Jordan Rumbles (East Coast Riders) from Fakenham had his first finish in the top three. Picture: Fergus Muir

Jordan Rumbles (East Coast Riders) from Fakenham had his first finish in the top three. Picture: Fergus Muir

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Diss Cycling Club’s cyclo-cross featured many choices in a compact course at Redgrave Activity Centre, with lots of spots where competitors might run or ride, according to their judgment or their personal strengths – brains had to work nearly as hard as legs and chests.

Bethany Barnett (King’s Lynn CC) , Youth Girl’s winner at Diss cyclo-cross. Picture: Fergus Muir Bethany Barnett (King’s Lynn CC) , Youth Girl’s winner at Diss cyclo-cross. Picture: Fergus Muir

There were no less than three sets of hurdles, one set of which was only just proud of the ground, but on a steep climb, just after a corner, which introduced a new sound into the cyclo-cross soundscape – that of spinning tyres on wood.

Nothing, however, diverted Jimmy Piper (MS Society), Lauren Higham (LIV AWOL) and Stephen James (Renvale) from their, respectively, eighth, seventh and sixth wins of the season.

Change, however, was afoot among the Youth (12-16) riders where Alex Dale (Lee Valley Youth) was cruising in front when his chain bounced off, allowing Norwich rider George Farrow-Green, never far behind, to draw level with one lap to go.

Dale exploited his bunny-hopping skills – Farrow-Green was dismounting – to take the win, but only narrowly.

Callum Laborde (Iceni Velo) from Norwich – Under 14 winner at Diss CC cyclo-cross. Picture: Fergus Muir Callum Laborde (Iceni Velo) from Norwich – Under 14 winner at Diss CC cyclo-cross. Picture: Fergus Muir

Jordan Rumbles (East Coast Riders) took third position – his first podium finish – while Callum Laborde (Iceni Velo) was Under 14 winner and club-mate Joseph Smith second U14, the latter also scoring his highest overall position (eighth) this season.

Bethany Barnett, of King’s Lynn CC, took her second Youth Girls win, over a minute ahead of Martha Lebentz (Hadleigh CC), while Ellie-May Pledger (Lee Valley Youth) finished in third place.

There was a first Junior win for Connor Rumbles (East Coast) while Alison Hogg’s second place in the Women’s race kept the Push Sport member firmly at the top of the women’s league table.

It was good to see Kieran Jarvis back in contention in the Senior race, though it was Dougal Toms – training around Norwich as a Deliveroo courier – who was second to Steve James, while a fast last lap brought Seb Herrod home only five seconds after Toms.

In National Trophy cyclo-cross at the cyclo-park near Gravesend, Horsford rider Sophie Wright (Renvale RT) claimed second place in the Women’s race, outsprinting early leader Beth Crompton, but conceding the victory to Ffion James.

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