Anglia ace too fast for rival

Tom Starmer pipped Ben McCluskey to victory in Velo Club Norwich's first road race promotion. The pair, who respectively ride for Angliasport and VC Baracchi, had emerged from the eight-strong leading break to sprint for the line at Wicklewood, near Wymondham.

Tom Starmer pipped Ben McCluskey to victory in Velo Club Norwich's first road race promotion. The pair, who respectively ride for Angliasport and VC Baracchi, had emerged from the eight-strong leading break to sprint for the line at Wicklewood, near Wymondham. The field had split on the first of the four 11-mile laps when attacks, first by Nick Esser (VC Baracchi) and then by Mark Farrow of API, opened a gap.

The breakaway group worked smoothly together and the bunch never saw them again.

Stuart Main of VC Baracchi won the prime sprint at 35 miles and initiated the VC Baracchi effort in the final sprint, where Norwich rider Neil Vaughan (East Anglian CC) took third place overall and the prize for best fourth category rider.

Paul Ashby of Fat Birds CC is East District 25 mile champion. He finished in 53:02 on the Wisbech bypass course, 1:59 faster than Mark Solley from the Diss & District CC.


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The event was overshadowed by a collision between Paul Russell (Fat Birds CC) and Pat Pepper (Wolsey RC). Russell was not seriously hurt, but Pepper, seven times a women's world road race championship competitor in the 1960s, was taken to Addenbrookes Hospital, where she was said to be “critical but stable” on Monday evening.

A personal best 1-3:02 secured the women's championship for Laura Robinson (VC Norwich) and a personal best 57:33 won the Espoirs (Under-23) award for Nino Piccoli, whose King's Lynn CC clubmates, Colin Bunnett and Geoff Allum, respectively landed the veterans' and handicap gold medals.

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For the first time in the Lotus Cars League races at Hethel, the scratch group (the fastest riders) did not close their handicap gap in time to contest the top places.

In the final sprint into a headwind, Darrell Glover (Norwich Amateur BC) decided the best place to be was on the wheel of Nino Piccoli, who won the two intermediate prime sprints.

It was a wise decision and Glover was able to come out of Piccoli's slipstream at the last moment to win. He can expect a few riders seeking shelter on his wheel in the next race.

The winner of the Veteran Time Trials Association 10, beating the standard time for his age by 8min 16sec, was Cambridge CC's 75-year-old Peter Baumber, whose actual time was 25:18.

Second on the Wymondham bypass course was Ron Back (West Suffolk Wheelers) with 23:21 (+8:09).

Fastest on actual time was Richard Bradley, whose tandem partner was unavailable on the re-scheduled date, but who went round the course solo in 21:02.

King's Lynn Cycling Club member Catherine Gupta (nee Essex) took sixth place in the women's national championship 100 based at Royston, finishing in 4-28:52.

Geoff Mindham, who broke his collarbone at Hethel in May, is back racing - and pointing out that I mistakenly aged him by 10 years. He is, in fact, just 60.

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