Contrasting fortunes for Flyers pair

There was triumph and disaster in equal measure for Norwich Flyers at their open BMX meeting.

Alan Hill, 38, fought off challengers half his age in the 17-plus senior final, but Flyers clubmate Fergus Barker fell and finished eighth in the 12-13 age group final after winning three of his qualifying motos.

The Seven-and-Under final was a three-up battle between Flyers' Kyle Hill and Jake Jones and Jack Leahy from Milton Keynes, with Leahy just getting the verdict.

Another close one was the Eight-and-Under Female final where Morgan Dorrell (Norwich Flyers) and eventual winner Mollie Foster (Peterborough Phantoms) swapped positions throughout the race. In the big-wheeled Cruisers Flyer, Paul Barnard was second to Jason Bridge (Braintree BMX) with David Howard (Norwich Flyers) third and Abi Hill winner of the B final.

Even the 200-kilometre route of the Old Squit Audax ride, based in Hellesdon, was not enough for Chris Smith who rode to and from the start from his home in Necton and finished the day with 315 kilometres (around 196 miles) under his wheels.

The first leg out to Leziate was into the wind and rain. There was some relief from the wind as the course turned towards Sandringham and things became faster and dryer as riders turned inland to Fakenham, Horstead and a final hard leg back to Hellesdon.

A larger field – 70 compared to 40 – took the 100km option which went out via Walsingham and left the coast for a leg-stretch up Bard Hill, Salthouse. Pleased to get up this without walking was Geoff Mindham from Spixworth, back in the saddle after breaking his leg as recently as November.

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The Ely and District Hardriders 25-mile time trial fully lived up to its name – with bikes leaning sideways to counteract crosswinds and Fenland earth liberally scattered across the course.

Winner James Coleman (Witham Wheelers) recorded a time of 57:24 to beat all-comers out of sight – including previous winner, second this time Sam Barker (1-00:13). Norwich rider Chris Nudds was best veteran on age standard with 1-5:14 at the age of 62, while fastest of the Diss CC riders was Mark Ready (1-11:10).

Among the award winners at Godric CC's dinner were Mark Elmy and John Dupen who shared a host of racing trophies, Steve Smith (club run attendance trophy), Margaret Sheppard (service to the club) and Barry Debenham (best club member).

Cyclists will be sorry to learn of the death of John Loveday, former chairman of the Norwich Cycling Association. The funeral will be at St Faith's Crematorium at 10.15am on Friday.

On Sunday the VC Norwich 50 mile reliability ride starts at the A140 layby near Norwich Airport. from 8.30am.

Results: Ely Hardriders 25: 1 James Coleman (Witham Whs) 57:24, 2 S Barker (Planet X) 1-00:13, 3 L Desborough (St Ives CC) 1-1:51. Local club riders: Anglia Velo: B De'ath 1-9:55; CC Breckland: C Nudds 1-5:14; Diss CC: M Ready 1-11:10, D Murphy 1-13:06; King's Lynn CC: S Neill 1-7:39, S Hardy 1-15:23, A Smith 1-16:56.

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