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Skipper’s flat out as he claims big victory in the first UEA Velo road race

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 October 2017

Faller Andrew Taylor (VC Norwich)  whips his bottle out of the path of  following riders in the UEA road race. Eventual winner Joe Skipper (pink socks) looks back. Picture: Fergus Muir

Faller Andrew Taylor (VC Norwich) whips his bottle out of the path of following riders in the UEA road race. Eventual winner Joe Skipper (pink socks) looks back. Picture: Fergus Muir

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UEA Velo’s first-ever road race promotion was action-packed from start to finish, despite – or partly because of – being run off in rain and strong winds which split the field from the start.

The UEA road race podium, from left, Tom Heal, Joe Skipper and Stephen Fuller. Picture: Fergus Muir The UEA road race podium, from left, Tom Heal, Joe Skipper and Stephen Fuller. Picture: Fergus Muir

Stephen Fuller (Cambridge CC) immediately attacked, but was eventually joined by Andrew Taylor (VC Norwich), Tom Heal (Strada Sport), Joe Skipper (unattached) and Kyle Harper of Norwich cafe club Artel Racing.

Taylor promptly departed the race in spectacular fashion, sliding off at Shotesham Church corner.

At around half distance (23 miles) Skipper – a current European triathlon champion, but only occasional road racer – rode off the front of the break on Skeets Hill.

Heal, Harper and Fuller continued to chase, but Skipper drew away and took the win – his snatched victory salute proving to be due to his front tyre being completely flat.

The UEA road race bunch at Shotesham. Picture: Fergus Muir The UEA road race bunch at Shotesham. Picture: Fergus Muir

Fuller took second spot at 2:59, Heal was third at 3:40 and Hawes fourth at 3:59. Adam Hole (eighth) was top VC Norwich finisher, Ben Skaife (11th) was first from Artel, Louis Julian (12th) was first from DAP while Caolan Stowe (17=) made sure the promoting University of East Anglia’s colours were represented in the result.

It just been announced that Norfolk is to host the 2018 Eastern Regional Road race Championship – the first time the event has been held in the county for several decades.

Strada Sport will promote on the third weekend in August on this same scenic 4.8-mile Shotesham Circuit. Fifteen climbs of Skeets Hill should ensure the event has a worthy winner.

Young competitors set the pace in the climactic cyclo-cross race at Mistley, with Norfolk riders Kieran Jarvis and Dougal Toms leaping hurdles astride their bikes – and gaining by doing so – while 40-year-old Steve James, just behind, was dismounting.

An heroic breakaway at the UEA road race, from left, Kyle Harper, Stephen Fuller and Tom Heal. Picture: Fergus Muir An heroic breakaway at the UEA road race, from left, Kyle Harper, Stephen Fuller and Tom Heal. Picture: Fergus Muir

But James had the last laugh, attacking and getting way, at first with Jarvis for company, but eventually winning by 1:22 from Jarvis followed by Toms and then Seb Herrod.

There were also wins for Norfolk riders Jimmy Piper (50+) and Florence Barnett (U12 Girls), a second place for Shaun Aldous (40-49s) and third for Alison Hogg (Women).

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