Duel to the finish line in Mud, Sweat & Gears MTB races
The climax of the Mud, Sweat & Gears MTB races at Codham Park was the duel between Steven James (Hargroves Cycles) and Jason Boutell (Dig Deep Coaching).
James and Newmarket rider Boutell worked together for four of the six 15-minute laps and built up an unassailable lead. Then the attacks started. First Boutell, then James, who finally got away to a 14-second win. It was a classic and increasingly common situation of a full-time rider – James is backed by the Southampton bike business – pitted against, in this case, a 45-hour-a-week electrician.
Out in force were members of the new Swaffham-based EHF Team sponsored by the Everybody Health & Fitness gym, who had category winners in Melanie Paddington (Sport Female) and Flynn Hunter in the 22-rider Under-9 Boys class. Other Norfolk winners included Sophie Wright (Great Yarmouth CC) in the Juvenile Females, Josun Cole (Iceni Velo, Under-12 Boys), Anita Buxton (Thetford MTB, Vet Females) and Imogen Buick (Newdales Cycles, Junior Females).
The course was dominated by a big spectacular section in a former sandpit with precipitous climbs and drops – it was a course for someone who can attack on a hill. Also included was part of a BMX track, wooded single-track with a stream crossing and long grass stretches joining up the highlights.
The VC Norwich 25-mile time trial was held on a new course running southwards from Attleborough and turning at small Croxton Road underpass on the Thetford bypass.
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The start was delayed by 30 minutes to allow mist to clear. Thereafter conditions warmed up quickly and the last starters undoubtedly had the best conditions with a slight tailwind on the return leg.
Winner was 56-year-old former Best British All-Rounder Ian Cammish who went round in 52:09 compared to 52:42 from Daniel Bloy (King's Lynn CC).
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Becky Schofield (Tri-Anglia, 1:03:05) was first lady home ahead of Sally Withey (VC Norwich, 1:09:18), one of the early starters who had to cope with the near-freezing temperatures.
Top local riders in the Ken Wright Memorial Road Race on the reservoir circuit near Colchester were Simon Millard (Iceni Velo, 11th) and James Browne (VC Norwich, 12th).
VC Norwich 25, Attleborough-Croxton: 1 Ian Cammish (Sonic Cycles) 52:09, 2 D Bloy (King's Lynn CC) 52:42, 3 G Taylor (Shorter Rochford) 53:47, 4 D Green (RAF CC) 54:16, 5 A Dyason (Team Swift) 54:43, 6 J Trenchard (Godric CC) 55:05, 7 R Eve (Wisbech Whs) 8 J Turner (Norwich ABC) 9 S Davidson (VeloVelocity), 10 N Dowie (Shorter Rochford) 56:30.
Ladies:1 Becky Schofield (Tri-Anglia) 1-03:05, 2 S Withey (VC Norwich) 1-09:18, 3 J Anderson (Great Yarmouth CC) 1-10:18.
Age winners: 40-49: Taylor, 50-59: Cammish, 60-69 Chris Nudds (CC Breckland) 58:20. Team: King's Lynn CC.