Atkins in a class of his own to take victory at DAP Cycling Club event

The field at the Essex Road Women's Road Race with two laps to go. Picture: Fergus Muir

The field at the Essex Road Women's Road Race with two laps to go. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

Toby Atkins of the Peterborough-based ActiveEdge team won the DAP Cycling Club's first ever road race promotion, a sun-drenched 75 miler on the Ringsfield circuit near Beccles.

Atkins was part of a five-man group that broke clear of the main field and was later joined by former Eastern League cyclo-cross champion Andy Nichols, who is now with Sheffield team B38/Underpin.

In the 26mph race the highest-placed local finishers were Norwich triathlete Joe Skipper in 10th spot and Andrew Taylor of VC Norwich who was 11th.

Top Norfolk finisher in the Essex Roads CC 51 mile race for third and fourth category roadmen was Fakenham rider Connor Rumbles (Strada Sport).

With a tailwind rather neutralising the main ascent – the long drag up Pan Lane, East Hanningfield – the race did not break up until about seven miles from the finish when David Harding (Chelmer CC) attacked followed by Jody Paxman (Rapha CC). These two just held on to take the top places ahead of a charging bunch in which Rumbles found himself rather boxed in but took 10th place, ahead of Strada Sport teammates Sam Yates (15th) and Jake Towler (27th).

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Junior Isabel Darvill (Velo Schils) won the equal-length women's race from Danni Shrosbree (CC London) and Molly Patch (Fusion RT).

Horsford mountain bike racer Sophie Wright finished third behind winner – and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Annie Last in the Women's Elite race in the National XC Series in Dalby Forest, Yorkshire. There was a fourth place for Push Sport's James Pickering in the Sport Men category.

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Ben Stancombe (VeloVelocity) was winner of the CC Breckland 10 on the Hingham to Carbrooke and back course which he covered in 20:56. Next in the event – which could not be held on its original early March date due to the weather – was Stuart Fairweather (21:08) and Leon West (21:24).

North Norfolk triathlete Kimberley Halton-Farrow beat all the other men to take fourth place overall in 21:56. Top finishers from the Norwich clubs were just one second apart. Matthew Ratcliffe (Iceni Velo) was fifth in 22:04 while Dan Blackburn (VC Norwich) was sixth in 22:05).

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