Matthews finally ends Senter’s dominance with great ride at Norwich 25

Harley Matthews (Dap CC) saw off the challenge of Matthew Senter to secure victory in the VC Norwich

Harley Matthews (Dap CC) saw off the challenge of Matthew Senter to secure victory in the VC Norwich 25. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

Harley Matthews ended the recent run of local wins by King's Lynn rider Matthew Senter by a margin of just two seconds.

In the VC Norwich 25 on the Larling to Wymondham and back course, Matthews (Dap CC) swept home in a time of 49 minutes 40 seconds, while Senter did 49:42.

Third spot went to Mark Richards (VC Baracchi) in 50:50, while former powerlifter Ben Stancombe of the King's Lynn CC was a new name near the top with 50:58 for fourth place.

Thetford rider Dave Green, 53, was first veteran both on scratch with his 52:07 and also best on age-standard – a 'plus' of 16:32. Green, incidentally, never rides on the open road except to compete, doing all his training on a static turbo-trainer.

A tailwind helped everyone to the Wymondham turn, but the headwind on the less sheltered stretches of the return leg made for tough going.

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'I buried myself,' said Matthews.

On Wednesday evening Matthews was clear winner in the CC Breckland 10, covering the Attleborough – Snetterton course in 20:03, well outside his own course record of 19:28.

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It was a crystal clear sunny evening, but temperatures plummeted and a crosswind offered no help.

Less than 24 hours after Mark Richards' 50:50 ride in the VCN 25, the Lowestoft rider was in the tightest of finishes with Tommy Power in The Ken Wright Memorial Road Race on the Abberton circuit.

Power got the win by a margin officially described as 'half a wheel' – but that must refer to a skateboard wheel.

After a race full of attack and counter-attack Power and Richards fought out the finish with Jonas Rooze (third) and David Warwick (fourth) while Liam Gentry (VC Baracchi) won the bunch sprint for seventh.

Star performer at the Lotus circuit races was the electronic timing system which successfully placed the 30 riders who crossed the finish line within two seconds of winner Gabriel Fowden (Lee Valley Youth).

However, there was a clearer result in the race for third and fourth cats where Peter Blenkinsop (Fast Test) won by nine seconds.

For full results see page 52.

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