First and second for Norfolk duo at Eastern Cyclo-Cross League meeting near Manningtree
- Credit: Archant
Matt Baker (Great Yarmouth CC) scored his first Eastern Cyclo-Cross League win after an exciting race at Mistley in which five different riders held the lead at various stages of the race.
The 15-year-old, from Swainsthorpe near Norwich, who has been a regular cyclo-cross rider for six years and more, finally took the lead on the last lap from Cameron Hurst (Colchester Rovers) after Baker's club-mate Kieran Jarvis, Travis Pell (CC Ashwell) and Pierce Bacon (Ipswich CSC) had all held the advantage on earlier laps.
The course for the Colchester Rovers promotion climbed and plunged through the wood at Furze Hill with a mostly loose leaf-mould surface that was dryer than usual.
There was another race-long battle in the women's event where Norwich rider Kate Scotter (Iceni Velo) and Sherilyn Powell (Chelmer CC) were exchanging places at the front, with Scotter tending to lead on the straight grass sections and Powell going best on the technical twists on the side of the ravine.
As they entered the woods at the start of the last lap, Powell gave it her all and Scotter was left chasing after derailing over the roots, though her second spot was her best yet Eastern League position.
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Shaun Aldous (Iceni Velo) took his unbeaten run of wins up to five races in the 40-49 Vets – mentioning that his good power to weight ratio is a particular plus-point on the Mistley climbs, a factor that will also have helped North Walsham rider John Swindells (Iceni) on his way to fourth place in the 76-rider field.
Senior race winner Matt Holmes pointed to an equally valid factor in play. 'It's a technical course – the best bike-handler wins,' he said, which fits in well with the next two placings, taken by Matt Webber and Richard Dunnett – the latter riding a mountain bike.
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Dougal Toms (Iceni Velo) travelled to Southampton where he took fourth place in the National Trophy Youth race where Tom Mein was the winner. Just a day earlier Toms had won the Youth Race at the Rapha Supacross at the Alexandra Place, on a course that included a monster – and very slippery – climb.