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Jimmy Piper overcomes flat tyre to win sprint finish and preserve unbeaten run

PUBLISHED: 16:41 31 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:04 31 October 2017

The start of the women's race at the Eastern League Cyclo-Cross at Grafham Water – winner Celia Hime far left. Picture: Fergus Muir

The start of the women's race at the Eastern League Cyclo-Cross at Grafham Water – winner Celia Hime far left. Picture: Fergus Muir

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Norwich off-road cyclist Jimmy Piper survived a last lap drama to win the Vets 50-plus race by Grafham Water, thanks to the timely loan of a bike by the Herrod family of Beccles.

Piper was holding a consistent half minute lead on Ford CC’s Clive Harrison when his front tyre deflated.

As Piper dived into the pits for a pump, Harrison swept past into the lead.

However, Seb Herrod proffered the spare bike he was holding for his dad Nigel, and with that Piper (MS Society) chased after Harrison, caught him and won the sprint for the line.

Luckily Nigel Herrod didn’t need his spare and maintained his third place in the Over 60 category, while Piper preserved his 18-month unbeaten run in the 50 plus.

Further down the list there was a season’s best result from Peter Farrell (East Coast Riders, 13th).

The course at this spectacular venue by the Cambridgeshire reservoir was a long one, with two beach sectors and a bumpy surface that made getting feet back on pedals after the dismount a bit of a nightmare.

The final race again came down to duel between Steve James (Renvale RT) and Kieran Jarvis (Team OnForm), the pair having to dodge a trio of curious geese on the beach early on.

James finally made what he described as a “monstrous effort” and succeeded in opening a gap at around half distance.

Jarvis was second with Michael Parry third and Seb Herrod fourth.

Nathan Blackmore was top Junior finisher, but Connor Rumbles of Fakenham is League Leader in the Junior category, despite finding it hard to get into a rhythm on the dry cracked clay surface.

Celia Hime (St Ives CC) took the Women’s race after being closely challenged by Gemma Melton (Pedal Power), with Alison Hogg (Push Sport) third after a slow first lap, but losing very little thereafter.

Making the long journey to Northumberland for the National Hill Climb Championship, Rebecca Johnson (Aprire/HSS) was 11th out of 41 finishers in the Women’s Championship in five mins 27.1 seconds, while Kate Lucas (Norwich ABC) was 28th in 6:27.9.

See page 52 for full results.

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