Dougal Toms in a field of his own to claim win in grass-track finale

Dougal Toms racing at Fornham. Photo: WEST SUFFOLK WHEELERS

Dougal Toms racing at Fornham. Photo: WEST SUFFOLK WHEELERS - Credit: Archant

Dougal Toms (Iceni Velo) won the eight-kilometre in style as the grass-track racing season opened at Fornham All Saints.

One of three riders to lap the whole of the rest of the field, he left Mitch Powell and Martin Smith with a lap to go to win alone – and later scored another win in the Unknown Distance.

John Swindells (Iceni) emerged as the winner of the East District Circuit Time Trial Championship – after roadworks caused two last-minute changes of course. Finally held over a 10-mile circuit based at Scoulton in dark and windy conditions, Swindells' time was 23:58 while stalwart time trial rider John Thompson (VC Baracchi) took home the £13 Lanterne Rouge prize for his 31:41.

At Lotus, Josh Andrews (Fast Test RT) won the Senior race after breaking away with Ben Beynon, Morris Bacon and Jason Kiernan. The Fourth Cat race went to Ian Sandell from Mark Nickerson and Robert Lewis.

• Geoff Banham, who died recently at the age of 80, will be remembered as an indefatigable organiser. He was the driving force behind town centre cycle races in Diss and Bungay, while at the same time doing much administratively for the English Schools CA and helping and coaching young local riders.

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He made sure the East always had a team in various ESCA championships and, after his working day as a baker, would take teams to venues, sometimes far across the country

His own racing career was mostly in the 1950s, in particular on the grass tracks and then on tricycles – including a team competition record at 100 miles in 1960.

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After moving to Mettingham near Bungay he started the long series of round-the-houses on the streets of Bungay on the Mayday bank holiday which attracted competitors from across the region and beyond and which he organised annually until 2004. In that year he and his wife Betty moved to Hempnall and, never one to retire, Geoff then inaugurated the annual 'End of Season' lunches to round off the time trial season.

His funeral is on June 20 at 11.30am in Hempnall Church.

• Top Norfolk rider in the Regional Championship Road Race in Herts was Kenninghall man Tom Fitzpatrick (Spirit Bikes) who was fourth.

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