Mark Arnold claims first New Year cycling honours

Mark Arnold heads for victory in the CC Breckland '10' with a time which left the rest of the field

Mark Arnold heads for victory in the CC Breckland '10' with a time which left the rest of the field trailing by over a minute. - Credit: Archant

Mark Arnold wasted no time in giving his Norwich-based team, Pedal Revolution, their first win of the year – by noon on New Year's Day he had the CC Breckland '10' sewn up with a time of 21:31 beating the rest of the field by more than a minute.

It was a bright and relatively mild morning but the wind was blowing strongly from Attleborough to Wymondham, making the outward leg extremely fast and the return jolly hard.

Not ideal conditions for Arnold, who was riding his usual fixed gear, but nevertheless he had 73 seconds in hand over last year's winner, roadman Stuart Pryce (Strada Sport).

Forty-three-year-old Patrick Ellis from Woodton was third in 24:00 and also best veteran on age standard - slightly fortunately as runner-up Paul Womack forgot he had a 67th birthday between entering and the day of the event.

Had this gone on his entry form his extra allowance would have been enough to win the vets prize with his actual time of 28:04.

There was compensation though –Womack had a share in the team award which his club VC Baracchi won, led by two Lowestoft 'young veterans' who have come into the sport in the last two years – Paul Dennington (26:35) and Stephen Summons (27:08)

• There were a remarkable 170 starters in the East Anglian Cycling Club' s 50 mile Reliability Trial, more than three times what was considered an unusually good entry in 2007.

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One estimate was that around 50 women took part in this event – clearly the biggest growth area of all. The course started and finished at Horsford and included Aylsham, Felbrigg, Holt and Briston.

Riders were very fortunate with the weather with light winds, the sun peeping through during the ride and the fog not coming down until most participants were attacking the tea and cakes.

Seasoned observers noticed more changes than just the numbers - rather than an event for 'hack' machines the start was described as 'like a bike show' with new machines being lifted out of cars, while the near-silent swish of a fixed wheel club group of earlier times was sometimes replaced by the sound of multiple gear transmissions not quite perfectly adjusted.

• On Sunday the VC Baracchi 50mile reliability rides start and finish at Oulton Community Centre, Gorleston Rd, Oulton Broad: 4 hrs 8.30 3.5 hrs 9.00 3 hrs 9.30 am. Details and advice from John Thompson 01502 581481,

• It is sad to report that Roy Jenkins has died just short of his 84th birthday. A vice-president and former chairman of the East Anglian CC, Roy came to the East over 50 years ago but never lost his Welsh lilt. After several previous careers he trained as a physiotherapist and became well known to cyclists as a 'man with magic hands'.

He also organised grass track meetings in North Walsham while a feature of his own racing was a partnership with Brian Tate which extended to over 60 2-up team time trials. The funeral is on Monday, January 21 at St Faiths Crematorium (10.15am).

CC Breckland New Years Day 10, Morley: 1 Mark Arnold (Team Pedal Revolution) 21:31, 2 S Pryce (Strada Sport) 22:44, 3 P Ellis (Diss & District) 24:00, 4 D Watkins (Anglia Velo) 24:17, 5 D Davis (CC Breckland) 24:27, 6 P Dennington (VC Baracchi) 24:57, 7 R Pell (Norwich ABC) 8 M Smith (Great Yarmouth CC) 25:14, 10 R Reade (NABC) 25:44.

Veteran on Standard: Ellis (+2:13).

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