Chain reaction sets up record

Tonya Antonis broke the East District women's 12-hour record - and her chain - in the National Championship cycling event organised on Norfolk roads by the CC Breckland.

Tonya Antonis broke the East District women's 12-hour record - and her chain - in the National Championship cycling event organised on Norfolk roads by the CC Breckland. By great good fortune, the chain failure happened as she accelerated away from a junction marshalled by engineer and Breckland member Myles Lubbock, who happened to have a bike multi-tool in his pocket. Tonya's distance of 227.7 miles tops Norwich rider Becky Durant's 1986 record by nearly three miles.

The championship course, based near Attleborough and including many fast miles on the A11 before finishing on a circuit incorporating Hingham, Scoulton and Great Ellingham, drew praise from riders and saw no less than 22 of them beat 250 miles, thought to be a record for this type of event.

Conditions were rather hot, but with light winds there was clearly the potential for good rides.

The new champion is Oliver Jones of API/Metrow, a technician from the West Midlands who covered 286.9 miles.


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Jones, who started serious cycling at the age of 30 in 2004, held to a strict schedule until the last two hours, when he was lapping the 12.8-mile finishing circuit in 35 minutes.

Ever-enthusiastic API boss Andy Palmer, himself a former winner of the Norwich city centre criterium, was well satisfied with this ride.

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That, together with 273 miles from Paul Smith and 269 from Chris Hopkinson, won the team prize for API/Metrow, who missed this award last year when took all the championship team wins from 10 to 100 miles.

API is an Essex-based paint spraying business, Metrow supply frozen food to many East Anglian pubs, while the club itself traces its origins back to the old Romford Road Club.

The women's champion is Marina Bloom of the Walsall RC with 239 miles, followed by Tonya Antonis, who will be EDCA champion, and, with 226.4 miles, Catherine Gupta, the King's Lynn CC rider who now lives in Bicester.

Of the local men, Paul Ashby covered 276.9 miles, Dave Green 252.7 Gary Rushmore 234.2 and Patrick Ellis 232.5.

In the Chelmer CC's road race, Beccles rider Jan Strapek (Interbike) came second to James Ward (Cambridge CC), with Shaun Aldous (Interbike) fifth and Adam Bedford (VC Baracchi) 10th.

Lack of advance entries has forced the cancellation of the Plomesgate Cycling Club's grass track meeting, which was scheduled for Saturday.

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