Helen Wyman inspired by crowd at European Cyclo-Cross Championships
Helen Wyman provided the Norfolk highlight of the European Cyclo-Cross Championships in Ipswich outsprinting Sanne Van Passen of the Netherlands by the narrowest of margins to take the Women's Championship.
Wyman was brought up in East Anglia and her victory was watched by her parents, Phil and Val Saunders who live in Trunch and run a bike shop in Sheringham.
Wyman, Van Passen and Wyman's Great Britain team-mate Nikki Harris formed a leading group of three until at two-thirds distance Harris was dropped. However Wyman and Van Passen remained locked together until they charged up the finishing straight side by side.
There cannot have been more than a couple of inches in it, but cheered on by crowd Wyman took the win and the blue champion's jersey with its European Community stars. Afterwards Wyman said: 'The last 100 metres were all due to the crowd.'
The numerous foreign visitors saw the Chantry Park venue at its best with sunshine and magnificent trees in autumn colours. It was different next morning when the second round of the National Trophy Series was held on the same course – transformed by steady rain. Grass soon turned to mud – mud so liquid that it did not cling much to bikes, but was flung off wheels all over riders.
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Iceni Velo's Cameron Toms had a bad start but recovered to finish 11th among juniors while younger brother Dougal had a fall but took seventh spot in the Under 14s, while Phil Buick (17th in the 50+) was another Norfolk in the top half of the results.
• The first MTB Thetford Winter Enduro of the winter was also a tough proposition – it rained until the last 20 minutes or so of the two-hour race. Thereafter the four-hour riders found the mud getting thicker and deeper.
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Team CCN's Andrew Manning abandoned his waterlogged gloves but still won the 160-rider Veteran's two-hour by over seven minutes.
Glenn Stanford – also of Team CCN won the 18-39 age group two-hour after several laps vying with Iceni's Tim Guy before the latter fell back. Second place eventually went to Jason Smith (Team CCN) with team-mate Tom Stanford fifth, behind Daniel Barford and Lewis Parker.
In the four-hour races veteran Paul Ashby was the only rider to complete seven laps. In the under-40s, round-the-world racer Richard Dunnett led for much of the race, brushing aside his stomach rejecting an energy gel – just stopping eating and carrying on. But lack of energy caught up with him on the last lap – and so did Andrew Cockburn from Cambridge, who went on to win with Dunnett second, 4:37 behind, but still ahead of 52 others.
• The East District Hill Climb Championship was fought out on Watkins Hill, Semer which was sheltered from the wind, though fully exposed to the rain. New champion is Ipswich BC sprinter Dan Zagni (48.9 seconds). VC Norwich rider Sally Withey was second lady, climbing in 01:26.4 seconds, while ladies winner Sandra Mackay (GB Cycles) took 1:07.6.
• Taking place on Saturday the Norfolk Nips 105km Audax rider missed the continuous rain but all but the fastest riders were hit by a hailstorm – deafening in a bike helmet. The route took riders from Norwich to Weybourne, then eastwards round the coast to Mundesley and Walcott – where observant riders noticed turnstones on the sea-wall – before returning to Norwich.