David Nichols wins Broome Heath cyclo-cross after a war of attrition

by Fergus Muir
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
5:35 PM

Spectators were on tenterhooks at the Broome Heath cyclo-cross as a war of attrition reduced a leading group of five down to three, then two – David Nichols and Sean Dunlea.

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Nichols attacked on open grassland, Dunlea fought back into contact but in the final uphill sprint Nichols took in by three seconds.

Broome Heath, just over the Norfolk border from Bungay, was at its finest. Recent rain had drained through the sand leaving fast sweeps across mossy grassland interspersed with a sandy run-up, a steep ride-up and some twisting descents and root-strewn tracks.

The others in that leading five in the senior race were Ross Tricker (XRT/Elmy) who attacked when Dunlea made a quick bike change, but was caught and dropped to third, elite veteran Greg Simcock and Norwich rider Tim Guy (Iceni) who eventually finished fourth.

In the veterans’ race visitor Andy Roberts (GWR) and Phil Buick (Iceni Velo) were locked together until Buick slipped his chain at the bottom of the steep ride-up and had to run, letting Roberts escape.

Emma Johnson (ZRT/Elmy) had the narrowest of wins in the women’s race. Sophie Wright (Norwich Tri) was top girl in the Youth Race, where U14 boy Dougal Toms (Iceni) took the win, beating all the U16s, including Matt Clements, his nemesis in the last round at Redgrave.

North Elmham U12 Josun Cole (Iceni) led league leader Aaron Freeman (Chelmer) most of the way and still found the strength to take the U12 win by two seconds.

The main race at Broome Heath is in memory of Joe Waller of Poringland and Ian Newby as usual wore an old Team Trek top in memory of his former teammate – and carried it to fifth place among the Elite Vets. Other stars of the recent past turning out for this classic event included Russell Parkins and 80s star Mandy Burchett (nee Staines).

• In the Five-by-Three Series MTB races at Taverham Hall School Shaun Aldous, organiser at Broome Heath, showed the way round, beating Lewis Grimes (Iceni Velo) by a whole lap. Josun Cole scored his first win of the weekend beating Colin Mantle (Mildenhall CC) in the young riders race.

• There was super weather for the Norfolk Nips 100 km ride from Norwich to Castle Acre and back. 125 riders successfully completed the course.

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