Chance to try out a hill climb

For cyclists inspired by the recent Norfolk stage of the Tour of Britain, the Stoke Holy Cross Hill Climb this Sunday is an opportunity to compare yourself with established competitors.

The course up Long Lane towards Poringland is just under a mile and a great deal less steep than Gas Hill, used for the 'Gasp' in July – indeed Long Lane has a flat bit in the middle. Anyone can enter on the day – though those under 18 will need a parent to sign a consent form.

First rider is off at 11am and the headquarters are at Stoke Holy Cross Church Hall at the junction of Norwich Road and Long Lane. Postcode NR14 8QJ is nearby. Organiser is Geoff Mayne (01986 893653).

Another, rather more demanding, option on the same day is circuit racing on the car park at County Hall, Norwich. Says organiser Neil Turner (01493 308700) 'It's lots of fun and we put these events on to offer you the chance to come and try some racing.'

Both these events put the emphasis on climbing and the young and skinny will tend to do best. Those of us older or more rounded are welcome, but are likely to be suited to time trials or Audax rides – Lowestoft club VC Baracchi have their Silly Suffolk Audax on October 23 – John Thompson 01502 581481 has the details.


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Nino Piccoli scored a double in the Norwich ABC 10- and 25-mile time trials based at Wortwell in the Waveney Valley, winning the 10 in 20:34 and next day's 25 in 54:09.

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Both events were very hot, but not quite as quick as riders were hoping, with the wind funnelling along the 25 course in particular. In the 10, Duncan Lorne was the fastest from the promoting club with 22:42 for seventh place, while top VC Norwich rider was Scott Davidson, 23:15. The King's Lynn CC provided the nearest challengers to Piccoli in the 25 – Gary Rushmore exactly one minute down and Daniel Bloy third in 56:08.

At a blazing hot CC Ashwell cyclo-cross at Baldock Andrew Nichols (PCA Ciclos Uno) was the clear winner of the senior race. Norwich club Iceni Velo had Matt Thurston in fourth spot and Ben Nicholson in seventh. In the under-12s Diss CC's Sophie Holmes was third overall and only 12 seconds off beating all the boys.

The Veteran's TTA 30-mile time trial just south of Newmarket proved a classic with Michael Hutchinson's 55:39 slicing 1:52 off the Matt Illingworth's competition record. With the temperature in the 80s Hutchinson prepared himself on rollers – I will not say 'warmed up'- wearing an ice-waistcoat. I'm told there was little traffic and little wind during this afternoon event. Among local riders were Will Bamber (Cult Racing, 1:5:06), Chris Nudds (CC Breckland 1:7:01), Ed Dean (Norwich ABC, 1:8:27) and Mark Fairhead (CCB, 1:10:06).

VC Norwich's Phil Hargreaves crossed over to the vital break in the Maldon Senior Road Race, but Richard Cartland (Team Corley) slipped away with a companion to take the win while Hargreaves chased alone hoping for third. However, he blew and was overwhelmed by the bunch, leaving his son Peter as the best Norwich rider in 13th spot. In the lower category Maldon race VC Norwich had Philip Thomerson in 10th place and James Browne 12th.

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