Triumphant start in road race for new Norwich club

by Fergus Muir
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
11:41 AM

The Duff Morgan Iceni Road Race was a triumph for this new Norwich club, who not only organised the event but put three of their members in the top four.

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Club members Shaun Aldous, Cameron Toms and race organiser Tim Guy shot away from the bunch at such a rate that no-one could immediately join them and only St Ives junior Luke Hattersley could bridge the gap later.

It was a welcome return to racing on the short, demanding and scenic Shotesham Circuit just south of Norwich. The 50-mile race included ten climbs of the testing Skeets Hill and it was here that the Iceni trio made their move. At the finish Aldous had a few yards on Hattesley, Guy and Toms in that order, while two minutes later Will Bamber was the first VC Norwich rider as the scattered bunch came up the hill to the line.

• Team Raleigh showed how it’s done as they dominated the Ixworth village centre races with reigning National Criterium champion Graham Briggs winning the big race ahead of four team-mates. Top local riders were Strada Sport’s Mark Westrup and Mike Auger. Westrup started his day with a third place in the Masters race. Strada’s Tom Fitzpatrick was 10th in the first Elite/1/2 race, Sophie Holmes took a top girl’s spot while Angus Toms was seventh in the U10s and Seth Houlgate (Yarmouth) 11th in the U12s.

The previous day Mike Auger gave Strada Sport a boost with fifth place in a testing 90-mile Eastern Counties CA Festival road race near Thaxted.

A huge entry of 146 attended the opening races of the Lotus Cycle Racing League, where a lone break by Tom Fitzpatrick was overwhelmed by the bunch on the last lap and Liam Gentry (Strada) took senior win from Mike Auger.

Supporting race winners included Josun Cole (Iceni), Dougle Toms (Iceni), Tom Power (Strada) and Jason Villarde (VC Norwich).

• Lowestoft’s Jim Burgess showed he is a master of short distance time trialing by winning a cold VC Baracchi 10 on the Wortwell-Bungay and back course in 21:20, 47 seconds ahead of Mark Arnold (Pedal Revolution). On a morning Emma Beard described as “hard both ways”, Sally Withey (VCN, 27:04) was fastest lady, nine seconds up on Karen Eaton with Beard third in 31:20.

On a cold windy Sunday morning in the Fens Peter Balls established 53:53 as the the course record for a new version of the Wisbech bypass 25 mile course, starting at the western end. Daniel Bloy (K Lynn, 54:42) and clubmate Gary Rushmore 54:46 were next fastest with Mark Arnold next on 55:52.

• There is a distinguished entry of 55 riders for North Norfolk Wheelers’ first Open promotion, a 100 mile time trial on a Fakenham–Hillington-Gayton triangular course. First rider leaves the start near the A148/A1065 roundabout at noon on Saturday. Scratch men are Mark Arnold and Anthony Stapleton, both with personal bests in the 3:40s.

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