Late burst clinches victory in VC Norwich road race at Great Cressingham

Action from the VC Norwich Road Races, not much room for manoeuvre among the men at Great Cressingha

Action from the VC Norwich Road Races, not much room for manoeuvre among the men at Great Cressingham. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

The VC Norwich men's road race at Great Cressingham climaxed in a devastating blast of a winning sprint from Grant Martin.

The former moto-cross rider, in his first season of bike racing, took a wait-and-see stance as the eight-rider leading break approached the finish.

'Then I put the hammer down,' said the Ipswich BC man – and no-one could match him.

There was a welcome return to racing for Iceni Velo's Mike Auger, in fourth place, but a sad pile-up in the sprint for places below 10th is likely to sideline Strada Sport's Chris Jackson and Tommy Power for some time.

The field in the women's race mostly stayed together, though the London Phoenix team made a serious attempt at a break and they also took the top places in the final sprint – the win going to Laura Cameron. Top local finishers were Louise Marsden (VCN, 10th) and Melanie Paddington (EHF, 11th).

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There were course records for the Ditchingham-based version of the Waveney Valley 50 course when Daniel Bloy won the Godric CC 50 in 1:49:59 and Verity Smith was fastest woman in 2:09:29.

In an extraordinary CC Breckland evening 25 on the Attleborough bypass, 34 of the 40 finishers were inside the hour, headed by Steve Gorbutt (Diss CC) with 51:46, with Aiden Bond (North Norfolk Whs, 54:13) a notable addition to the top of the results.

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Fastest of all in the spectacular Rip Up Gorleston Ravine knock-out hill climb was Zak Coleman (Strada Sport), who was also a winner at the Lotus.

Alice Codling of Great Yarmouth CC was top girl at Colchester Rovers' grass-track meeting, winning the Ladies' Omnium (overall) award, though twin sister Alice prevented a clean sweep with her win the 800m handicap.

Sadly, the cycling community has lost one of its best loved figures with the death of Shirley Burrage.

Shirley first rode with Norfolk CTC around 1960 and until recently was part of the team that fed riders in the popular winter Audax Series. In the intervening decades her cheerful personality lit up the scene for generations of local cyclists.

The funeral will be at St Faiths Crematorium on Tuesday, July 14 at 2.45pm.

Perhaps the best opportunity of the year to see bike racing in Norwich – the Gas Hill Gasp – is on Friday, first heat at 7pm.

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