Iceni praised for Taverham Hall venue

The second round of the Five-by-Three mountain bike races saw numbers nearly double. The course at Taverham Hall School, near Norwich was soft going after recent rain, but showers held off on the day and 39 entrants tackled the race for Seniors and 16-18 year-olds.

Winner Lewis Grimes said it was surprising how much variety the organising Iceni Velo club had managed to find in a one-and-a-half mile circuit – woodland singletrack, asphalt, climbs and off-camber corners. All in a fine setting with trees in autumn colours and fungi by the tracks. Grimes managed to ride the whole circuit but many others had to run some climbs. His nearest challenger was Lowestoft triathlete Lee Cook from the Rock Estate club, with coach and former cyclo-cross champion Russell Parkins third.

Iceni had another winner in Josun Cole who took the U12s. However, as in all the races, the emphasis was on introducing newcomers and the U12s had Phil Buick, usually a veteran winner, riding in last place and offering a helping hand to any who were struggling. Other winners were Oliver Riley in the U16s and Erica Howe (VC Norwich) in the women.

There was little rain at the Eastern Cyclo-Cross League races at Davy Down near Thurrock, but as the day went on the mud got thick and sticky and the senior race was effectively decided when Sean Dunlea (Ciclos Uno) sensing his gear was clogging and about to be snapped off, made a bike-change. It was a super-quick swap, but still the effort needed to regain contact with the fellow leader Ross Tricker (XRT/Elmy) took too much out of Dunlea and Tricker was able to open a gap to secure the win.

Of the Norwich competitors Tim Guy (Iceni) took eighth place and now lies second in the Senior league table, while steady application from Pedal Revolution's Neil Stevens moves him up to fourth in the list.

Cameron Toms (Iceni) was 10th overall and second Junior behind Dunlea. The Veterans had less muddy conditions with first-season 'cross man Ian Chatten (Iceni) tenth – his best league placing so far – while Jon Perium (Breckland) returned to the sport in 26th, two places ahead of Stephen Dunnett (Diss CC).

Perium's son Henry was best Norfolk rider in the Youth race, with Diss U14 girl Sophie Holmes (Inverse RT) just two places behind in 19th.