Jackson tames Stoke Holy Cross hill climb

Sixteen-year-old Strada Sport rider Chris Jackson was the fastest rider in the Stoke Holy Cross hill climb, powering into a headwind to a time of 2:34.5 – exactly one second ahead of Ben Benyon (UEA CC, 2:35.5).

James Trenchard took the Godric CC Hill Climb Championship with his 2:38.6 ride and Barney Horne made himself Norwich Amateur Bicycle Club Champion with his 2:41.8 for fourth overall.

By good fortune the climb was held in a brief dry spell, but earlier rain made for a wet, draggy road surface and although it wasn't cold the headwind made the innocent looking hill a real killer. The climb, from Stoke towards Poringland, looks nothing and has a flat section in the middle, but the final steep bit hits riders just as they have drained the energy bank.

Swardeston cyclo-cross rider Dougal Toms was briefly misled by a gap in the tapes while in the lead of the Youth race at Colchester, but didn't let the excursion rattle him and soon re-took the lead and went on to win by 1:37 from a 45-rider field of 12- to 15-year-olds. Unluckily it was the Under-10s and Under-12s that had to race in the rain – but the organisers kept their course on the grass this year.

Top local rider was Great Yarmouth CC's experienced Rowan Baker, who was eighth in the U12s. For older riders the full Hillyfields course involved some slippery single track sections where one side of the course was brambles and the other side nettles. Thorpe St Andrew veteran Ian Chatten was showing signs of an encounter with the brambles, but still had his second-best result of the season –16th in the over-subscribed Veterans race. In the Senior race Jules Birks (VC Londres) overhauled Ross Tricker (XRT/Elmy) in the final laps to take his second successive win.


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In the final rounds of the Norfolk Cycling Academy races at Norwich Airport Park & Ride Patrick Manning (Great Yarmouth CC) crashed on the final lap of the second Youth race, but got up to claim top Under-14 place. In the first one he beat all the Under-16s to win overall.

Star of the Silly Suffolk Audax rides based at Blundeston must be 10-year-old Ben Lafflin, who completed the 160km route, plus a bit added because of his dad's navigation error. Fifteen finished the longest distance on offer – 200km – despite the early miles being in torrential rain.

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The grassroots mountain bike race series Five-by-Three gets under way at Fritton Lake near Lowestoft on Sunday. The series aims to encourage MTB riders of all ages to try cross-country racing, with a particular welcome for women and Under-18s. The organisers promise a light-hearted, fun course and the cafe is open all day. Details at http://fivebythreemtb.com/.

Guest of honour at the Norwich Amateur BC Dinner & Prize Presentation on Friday November 15th at Costessey will be Bryan Steel, four times Olympic champion. For further details contact Beverley Cardew on sparklybubs@aol.com.

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