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Harley Matthews and Thomas Heal prove to be stars of Diss Cycling Club’s road race

PUBLISHED: 06:05 30 May 2018

Harley Matthews leads Thomas Heal (Strada Sport) during their successful break at the Diss CC Road Races. Picture: Fergus Muir

Harley Matthews leads Thomas Heal (Strada Sport) during their successful break at the Diss CC Road Races. Picture: Fergus Muir

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Harley Matthews and Thomas Heal were the stars of the Diss Cycling Club’s men’s road race.

The women’s podium at the Diss CC Road Races. From left, Michelle Arthurs-Brennan, Alex Clay, Mathilde Pauls. Picture: Fergus MuirThe women’s podium at the Diss CC Road Races. From left, Michelle Arthurs-Brennan, Alex Clay, Mathilde Pauls. Picture: Fergus Muir

Held on a four-mile triangular circuit between Kenninghall and North Lopham, a stiff breeze encouraged breaks and sunshine gave riders the spirit to try their legs in breakaways.

Matthews (DAP CC) made his first bid in the company of Oliver Knight (Corley Cycles).

After they were brought back Loddon rider Heal took off alone and when Matthews joined him they worked well and, helped by two strong teams jumping on all attempts to chase, the pair stayed away to the finish where Matthews scored his first-ever win on the open road.

The women’s race, of 48 miles over the same circuit in the afternoon, broke up even more spectacularly.

Harley Matthews (DAP CC) takes the win at North Lopham at the Diss CC Road Races. Picture: Fergus MuirHarley Matthews (DAP CC) takes the win at North Lopham at the Diss CC Road Races. Picture: Fergus Muir

The field split in two at quarter distance. Then the lead group of seven burst asunder. Mathilde Pauls (Sigma Sport), the only First Cat competitor in the field, attacking and being joined by Alex Clay (Loughborough Students).

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan paired up to make sure of the next two places, while Frankie Hall (DAP CC) chased alone.

At the line Clay, a triathlete from Kent and in only her second road race, took the win.

Arthurs-Brennan outsprinted Melton for third while King’s Lynn rider Hall took fifth. Next Norfolk finishers were Polly Mason (seventh) and Cindy Berry (ninth).

The women’s lead group punches into the wind at the Diss CC Road Races. Far left is Frankie Hall; winner Alex Clay (far right). Picture: Fergus MuirThe women’s lead group punches into the wind at the Diss CC Road Races. Far left is Frankie Hall; winner Alex Clay (far right). Picture: Fergus Muir

In the Lotus Cycle Race League winner Morris Bacon (DAP) and Ben Beynon (Strada Sport) opened a 90-second gap on the Senior bunch. Polly Mason won the women’s race from Cindy Berry.

In mountain bike racing there was a Sport category win for Push Sport rider James Pickering at the Carver Barracks in Essex, where, though hot, it was still slippery under the trees and old airfield debris caused punctures.

Pickering finished a minute up on Robert Staines with Zac Herrod third and Watton rider Robert Smithers fourth. Zac’s dad Nigel won the Over 60s from a field of 10.

Matthew Senter (19:47) and Denise Hurren (23:18) were the winners in the Stowmarket “10” on the Rougham-Woolpit road, where the road surface is beginning to show its age.


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