Laura Gambling plays it straight for Velo Club Norwich 25 victory
Just two seconds separated Laura Gambling and Becky Taylor at the finish of the Velo Club Norwich 25.
Norwich rider Gambling finished in 1:03:15, which was just enough to take the prize, but Taylor, now racing for Anglia Velo, looked the faster around the Browick roundabouts.
However, time trials are won racing in a straight line, and there Gambling had the edge.
Conditions were not fast; it was cold for the early starters and later ones – including Gambling and Taylor – faced an increasingly strong headwind blowing across the road on the 13-mile haul from Browick (Wymondham) to Larling.
Gambling's 1:03:15 compared to her personal best ride, just last week, of 58:53 gives a measure of how hard that leg was.
The top men, Peter Balls (West Suffolk Whs, 53:29) and Liam Gentry (Strada Sport, 53:46) were notably positive – looking forward to the final seven miles of tailwind to use their top gears (Balls had 53x11; Gentry 53x12).
In contrast, Gary Rushmore could not get his top two gears to engage and twiddled to the finish at a pedalling rate of 130 rpm. Rushmore's King's Lynn CC clubmate Daniel Bloy went off-course towards Suton just after the start, but turned back and nevertheless recorded 56:32. With Martin Long doing 56:56 the King's Lynn club still took the team prize.
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The Ed Taylor Memorial Road race, with its short circuit and 10 climbs in 50 miles, had a local winner in Gavin Moore (PCH UK) who was originally in an early break of five. In mid-race these were nearly caught by the bunch – and indeed three of the breakaways dropped back – but Moore and Scott Cousins (Maldon & District) persisted, put the bunch out of sight a second time and Moore took the win.
Philip Thomerson (VC Norwich) was best Norfolk finisher in the Essex Roads CC 43-mile road race, where a break of five stayed away. Winner was Colin Ward (Essex Roads). Thomerson sprinted with the bunch 43 seconds later, one place ahead of experienced Harleston roadman Robert Hunt (API). In the Fleche Welwyn road race at Old Warden in Bedfordshire, VC Norwich rider Glyndwr Thomas was 20th.
• The Beccles Cycle for Life is the perfect test ride for those thinking of tackling the Norwich 50 or 100 – or a great excuse for getting out for a ride as a family, with a choice of routes from seven to 50 miles on Sunday, May 13.
• Seven riders from the King's Lynn CC, each riding 395 miles, raised around �5,000 for Prostate Cancer UK with an epic four-day ride from St Davids in the far west of Wales to Lowestoft – as far east as you can go without getting your feet wet. However, Gary Smith, Tim Maslin, Simon Hardy, Steve Twell, Marcus Hopkins, Dale Counsell and Hank Hankinson all got wet from above, going through rain and hail, especially in the 108-mile first leg across Wales to Brecon.
• Team Raleigh racing cyclist Jeroen Jannsen was in Norwich to re-launch Heartsease bike shop Molly's Cycles as Cyclelife Raleigh franchise and to celebrate Raleigh's 125th year in the cycle business.
Jannsen, 27, is a criterium specialist and was one of the breakaway heroes in the Colchester Tour Series race last June.
Molly's Cycles was originally opened four years ago by Mark Hurn and recently moved to new premises at Clancy Road.