King’s Lynn rider Smithers set up victory with speedy opening lap
- Credit: Archant
King's Lynn Mountain Bike Club's Revel Winter Series was launched on a bright crisp morning in the forest just across the river from Brandon.
KLMTB member Robert Smithers won the shorter 90-minute race, setting himself up with a very fast first lap on the course which was flowing, but not exceptionally challenging.
Next fastest was Kieran Jarvis – still a Junior under MTB rules – while Norwich rider Matt Ellis was second Senior followed by a near tie between Chris Skinner and Adam Cross, who were both charging towards the finish line when a backmarker fell and they were practically forced to a stop.
Women's 90 minutes winner – by over 10 minutes – was Laura Sampson.
The first off were the Three Hour competitors and here both winners were on hardtail (suspension only at the front) bikes.
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Among the women, Thetford rider Mel Paddington came from behind to overhaul early leader Elvita Branch.
Senior Men's winner Andrew Cockburn had mainly to worry about supervet Paul Ashby, but did manage to stay in front of the Veteran winner.
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'Real cyclo-cross weather' was a phrase heard several times as rain brought a full-blown mudfest to West Suffolk Wheelers cyclo-cross on Hardwick Heath.
There was a clear progression to the day. It rained on the youngest riders, whose races come first. Then the 12-16s finished splattered with liquid mud.
Next came the Vets races where tight corners became the centre of spectator interest as riders slid off, but bikes continued to stay clear enough of mud to function okay.
But by the final race the drying mud was sticking and clogging. Wheels stopped going round and interest focussed on bike changing in the pits.
In the first-lap charge, Dougal Toms, running with his bike, actually took the lead from James Madgwick and Sean Dunlea who were still in the saddle.
However, biding his time behind these, it was Stephen James who finally took the flag.
It is sad to be reporting that Godric Cycling Club members are mourning their loss of Dave Hatcher, stalwart member and secretary of the club for many years.