Triathletes set new marks in VC Baracchi 50
- Credit: Archant
The wind made conditions hard in the VC Baracchi 50, but that did not stop triathletes Joe Skipper and Hannah Peel from setting records for the Bungay-based Waveney Valley course.
International star Skipper, who lives in Norwich, finished in 1:45:11, shaving just 16 seconds off Matthew Senter’s 2018 record.
Sheffield triathlete Peel was more drastic, slicing more than two minutes off Mary Bower’s 2:09:26 figures which had stood since 2014. Peel lowered the women’s record to 2:06:40.
But make no mistake – it was a hard day. As Lowestoft rider Mark Richards said, there were “a lot of great rides given the difficult conditions”.
Richards (DAP CC) was third in 1:47:17, with second overall going to Cambridge University CC’s Rob Walker (1:46:17)
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Why was it so hard? Maybe because the strong west wind was at an angle to the course and on what should have been the fast tailwind leg from Needham to Stockton, competitors were sheltered by thick mid-summer greenery, often quite close to the road. In the reverse direction, towards Diss, the head wind blew across the road into their faces.
There were certainly some exhausted-looking faces as riders passed the upwind end of the Harleston bypass.
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“Any little rises felt like big hills,” said Trevor Mayne (2:03:54) who grew up in Bungay but now lives near real big hills in west Yorkshire. Jenny Anderson (Great Yarmouth CC, 2:24:59) mentioned a wind tunnel effect where the bypasses loop round the valley towns in cuttings. Anderson regretted her choice of deep section wheel rims, but managed to keep the bike straight despite the crosswinds.
Visitors took the top women’s places. First local rider was Jan Smith (Great Yarmouth CC, 2:21:04), followed by Anderson and Cheryl Tye (Plomesgate CC, 2:40:44.
Notable among the top men was Ryan Gray (Tri Harder), new to time trialling, who maintained a faster average speed over this 50 miles than in the Diss 25 last week. Gray was seventh in 1:54:24. Top man from the promoting Lowestoft club VC Baracchi was Mark Saunders whose 1:59:27 was a personal best.