Empson beats rising stars

Fresh from riding 10 miles in 19:48 on the Great North Road last week, Gary Empson (API) dominated the East Anglian CC 10 with a winning 20:38 on the single carriageway Bungay bypass.

Fresh from riding 10 miles in 19:48 on the Great North Road last week, Gary Empson (API) dominated the East Anglian CC 10 with a winning 20:38 on the single carriageway Bungay bypass.

The King's Lynn rider was a clear minute ahead of two of the rising stars of regional time-trialing. Peter Balls (West Suffolk Wheelers) was second in 21:38 and who, not untypically for a time-trialing rising star, is a veteran - 40-plus years of age - and third-placed Adrian Porter (Kings Lynn CC, 21:42) is also fairly new to the cycle racing scene.

Empson said: “It was quicker on the way back, but not all the way - you flew in places.”

Next came David Staff who led the winning Anglia Velo team with his 21:46, backed by comeback man Simon Warren (22:21) and Gary's uncle Joe Empson whose 22:37 also won him third Veteran-on-Age Standard prize, behind Ron Back (24:33 at age 67) and Alan Stevenson (22:41 at 59).

The best tandem was the tricycle of Roger and Gawain Akers (Welwyn Wheeelers), 59 seconds up on yours truly and Martin Badham, also on three wheels.

On the next morning in the EACC 25 on the same road the “old guard” reasserted itself, with Anglia Velo making a clean sweep of the first four places - David Staff 55:16, Andy Hutchison 56:04, Richard Bradley 56:19 and Martin Pyne 57:05. The event was lucky to fit into a sunny if windy slot in the weather, but rain before the start set the scene for a host of punctures.

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t Shaun Aldous won the third round of the Eastern Cyclo-Cross League at Chantry Park, Ipswich, riding away from Nick Ainsworth (Fat Birds) and Hugo Hocknell (Angliasport) in a technical section of a fast course laid out at the venue, which will host the East Anglian round of the National Points Series cyclo-cross on Sunday, October 29.

Revelation of the race was Tim Bonnett, who took 10th place among the 65 finishers. Bonnett, racing this year for VC Baracchi, has been training under the guidance of fellow Bungay resident Aldous. He beat experienced clubmate Pat Harbord, who was 12th, and was only one second behind Mark Farrow, who took the Veteran's prize.

In the Under-12s race it was James Arden, who has only just had his 10th birthday, who scored the first league win of his career. The young Norwich Amateur Bicycle Club member, who lives in Caston, had a 55-second margin over George Wood of Southend Wheelers.

t An eight-man break shared the prizes in the Finsbury Park CC Road Race - the final event of the Eastern Road Race League - but the real drama took place lower down the field.

A mechanical failure looked to rob Jan Strapek, the Czech rider who lives in Worlingham, near Beccles, of the overall league win. But a timely sacrifice by one of his Interbike team-mates saw Strapek safely to the finish on a borrowed bike.

t Results:

East Anglian CC 10: 1 Gary Empson (API Metrow) 20:38, 2 Peter Balls (West Suffolk Whs) 21:38, 3 Adrian Porter (King's Lynn CC) 21:42, 4 D Staff (Anglia Velo) 21:46, 5 B Phillips (E Grinstead CC) 21:49. 6 G Frost (API) 22:15, 7 S Warren (Anglia

Velo) 22:21 =8 S Lyons (VC Norwich) and A Jardine (Ipswich BC) both 22:25, =10 J Empson (Anglia Velo) & G Stevens (East Anglian CC) both 22:37. 12 Alan Stevenson (CC Breckland) 22:41.

Veterans on Std: 1 Ron Back (West Suffolk Whs) +7:22, 2 A Stevenson +6:53, 3 J Empson (Anglia Velo) +6:15.

East Anglian CC 25: 1 David Staff (Anglia Velo) 55:16, 2 Andy Hutchison (Anglia Velo) 56:04, 3 R Bradley (Anglia Velo) 56:19, 4 M Pyne (Anglia Velo) 57:05, 5 A Leggett (Ipswich BC) 57:19, 6 G Rushmore (King's Lynn CC) 57:24, 7 G Frost (API) 57:46, 8 G Stevens (East Anglian CC) 57:56, 9 D Murphy (Cambridge CC) 57:59, 10 A Jardine (IBC) 58:14, 11 C Nudds (CC Breckland) 58:29, 12 I Brown (King's Lynn CC) 58:47. Women on Handicap Laura Robinson (VC Norwich) 1.04:21.

XRT Cyclo-Cross, Ipswich: 1 Shaun Aldous (Interbike), 2 N Ainsworth (Fat Birds) +1;20, 3 A Paton (VC Deal) +1:43, 4 H Hocknell (Angliasport) +2:13, 5 N Miller (Ipswich BC) +2:22, 6 I Newby (Diss & District CC) + 2:53.