Harley Matthews hunts down field to claim Breckland CC New Year’s Day 10 win

The start of the Womens race at Ipswich: Katie Scotter in Iceni Velo kit (left) and Elspeth Grace (

The start of the Womens race at Ipswich: Katie Scotter in Iceni Velo kit (left) and Elspeth Grace (number 36). Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

Harley Mattthews, riding for the new Great Yarmouth-based sponsored club Dap CC, was the winner of the CC Breckland New Year's Day 10 at Morley in the unseasonably fast time of 22.01mins.

Breckland CC New Year's Day 10, near Wymondham, winner Harley Matthews (Dap CC). Picture: Fergus Mui

Breckland CC New Year's Day 10, near Wymondham, winner Harley Matthews (Dap CC). Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

On a drizzly morning the main road was unsuitable for racing, but CC Breckland were prepared with an authorised alternative course and as a result racing returned to the former A11 just south of Wymondham, the scene of so many epic rides in the post World War Two years. Official observer Mick Madgett patrolled the course on his 1953 Ephgrave bike with contemporary equipment added to period feel.

However, there was no such feel about the times. Matthews, pushing a big gear, started last, one minute behind the much faster pedalling Tommy Power (Pedal Revolution) and gained steadily on his former team-mate. Second place was very closely fought indeed, with Liam Gentry (VC Baracchi, 22.53) finishing just one second behind Power and Ben Beynon (Pedal Revolution, 22.54) taking fourth place, just one second further back.

Next day there was brilliant sunshine for the XRT/Elmy Cycles cyclo-cross at Trinity Park, Ipswich, which used a significantly different course to the recent National Trophy at the same venue. Gone was all the surfaced roads and in came wooded single-track, though the stepped run-up remained and proved a focus for cheering spectators.

Kieran Jarvis (Strada Sport) finished fifth among the Seniors to make himself certain winner of the League Junior category with a perfect 1000 points score. Sixteen-year-old Elspeth Grace (Welwyn Whs) won the Women's race outright and becomes Junior Women's champion, while Katie Scotter took second and is now certain to be Women's Senior (that's age 18-39) champion. Veteran Jackie Field (CC Ashwell) was third but the destination of the Vet Women's Championship will only be decided at the final league round, the Iceni Velo 'cross on January 22.

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Senior men's winner was Ipswich rider Grant Martin who showed an astonishing turn of speed on long slippery grass curves and said that keeping it absolutely smooth was the key to staying upright in those circumstances.

The reliability trial season opens this Sunday with the classic East Anglian Cycling Club event.

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Groups will leave Horsford Village Hall between 8.30 and 9.30am. There are further details on the club website. The following Sunday (January 15) there are similar start times for the VC Baracchi trial which starts at Oulton Community Centre, NR32 3AZ.

CC Breckland New Year's Day 10: 1 Harley Matthews (Dap CC) 22.01mins, 2 Tommy Power (Pedal Revolution) 22.52, 3 Liam Gentry, (VC Baracchi) 22.53, 4 Ben Beynon (Pedal Revolution) 22.54, 5 Mark Richards (VC Baracchi) 23.26, 6 Stuart Pryce (Pedal Revolution) 23.52, 7 James Rush (CC Sudbury) 25.19, 8 Ashley Thompson (Town & Country Printers) 25.47, 9 Nick Esser (VC Baracchi) 26.00, 10 Cindy Berry (Bowlphish Racing) 27.56, 11 Paul White (Diss & DCC) 28.55, 12 Thomas Moore (Gt Yarmouth CC) 30.04.

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