Horsford rider Sophie Wright living up to promise in National Trophy

Sophie Wright during the National Trophy race. Picture: Fergus Muir

Sophie Wright during the National Trophy race. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

Riding in only her third race on a cyclo-cross bike Horsford junior Sophie Wright looked fully at home in top company when National Trophy 'cross returned to Ipswich.

Wright only narrowly missed out on third overall in the women's race and took her place on the podium as first junior.

Through the early stages Wright sensibly tucked in quietly near the back of a fast-moving lead group.

When the group began to disintegrate under pressure from eventual winner Evie Richards, Wright paired up with Hannah Payton to fight back into contention and finish just 34 seconds down on the winner in fourth place.

There was a double reason for Norfolk celebrations when news filtered through that Helen Wyman, brought up in the county, had on the same day scored her first big win since January taking the B-Post Trophee cyclo-cross at Hamme, just across the North Sea.

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Wind was the dominating factor at Ipswich. Combined with the open nature of the Suffolk Showground and the generous use of surfaced roads, competitors needed group-riding skills that are rarely significant in cyclo-cross. Forecast rain cleared early and the wind dried the course rapidly – pressure washers cleaning bikes sending clouds of spray drifting across the scene.

Eastern competitors only occasionally get in the top 20 of National Trophy results and this was easily surpassed by Dougal Toms, 10th in the separate junior men's race where the Iceni Velo member was one of the few to bunny-hop the full-height hurdles.

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Taking 14th in the 40-49 Vets was Shaun Aldous (Renvale) only 2:02 down on winner Nick Craig and over a minute ahead of next Norfolk finisher John Swindells (22nd). It wasn't a good day for Aldous's Renvale RT boss Stephen James (33rd in Elite) who could barely walk after landing awkwardly at a dismount and can only have got up the feature flight of steps by sheer courage.

A spritely-looking Eddie Fone (Norwich ABC) was at the annual lunch of the Veterans Time Trial Association, East Anglian Group to receive his awards for twice breaking the group's records for fastest rides over 10 and 25 miles... at the age of 88.

VTTA president Carole Gandy spoke and presented the awards – including the Gordon Irons Trophy for outstanding services to the group, which went to archivist Mick Pepper.

There was a full house for the East Anglian CC lunch at Holt. David Gigg was the top racing prizewinner while the Jenkins (Meritorious) Trophy went to Dave Anness.

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