Mountain bikers find hidden dangers at Ickfield

The Under 12s wait for their start at Ickworth. Picture: FERGUS MUIR

The Under 12s wait for their start at Ickworth. Picture: FERGUS MUIR - Credit: Archant

Mountain bike riders basked in glorious sun in the National Trust parkland surrounding Ickworth House - but in the hilltop woodlands sticky clay was waiting to suck them in.

Conditions changed as the day went on - in the morning the younger riders and entry level seniors found the mud flying off their wheels. After the lunch break the by now well rolled clay stayed on the ground - but was reluctant to let go of the bikes. 'Like riding through Plastercine' said Norwich rider Tom Stanford. 'You couldn't go fast enough to make it technical' was the wry comment of superveteran Paul Ashby.

But the sun and the scenery made up for a lot. The course featured three 'bombholes', one with not only a 'B' route but an even easier 'C' route as well, and riding the crest of the boundary woodbank of Old Dairy Wood was an unusual and interesting test.

Norfolk category winners include Zak Coleman in Youth, Lee Woodcock in Sport and Horsford girl Sophie Wright in Youth Female - the latter having finished eleventh in a National Youth Series road race at Milton Keynes the previous day.

Some events unexpectedly catch the imagination and such was the four-up team time trial at Lotus which attracted 30 teams and was won by remarkable effort from a Strada Sport team of Liam Gentry, Stuart Price, Mark Westrup and Nick Esser who maintained a speed of 27.3 mph to win in 20:30.

A mile and a half drag up through the woods was the dominant feature of the Eastern Road Race League Paul Simon Homes race in Herts. A break of eight, eventually whittled down to four took the top places - headed by Joe Fry (RST). Highest local finishers were junior Chris Jackson (Strada Sport, 10th) and James Browne (VC Norwich) who was 15th after cramping up the last time up that hill.

Just eight weeks after breaking his collarbone in the Godric CC 25, 64 year-old Chris Nudds (CC Breckland) was back in action, recording 24.09 in the Ely & District CC 10 on the Ely-Earith road. Winner was David McGaw (Cambridge CC, 21:11) with Bob Whitear Road Race winner Kieran Brady (City Cycle Centre) taking second place in 22:03.

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The CC Breckland 25 on the Carbrooke-based circuit was won by Veteran Jack Sears of the Stowmarket club in 56:41- a remarkable time on this country lanes course in damp conditions. Steve Gorbutt (Diss CC, 57:30) and Scott Davidson (VeloVelocity, 57.42) took the next two places. James Trenchard (Godric/Becks Bikes) was the winner of a hot, sunny but windy Plomesgate CC 25 on a two-lap circuit in the Suffolk Sandlings. Trenchard had 1:23 in hand over second-placed Simon Hance (Ipswich BC).


CCB & EDCA Circuit Championship (Carbrooke): Jack Sears (Stowmarket & District) 56:41, S Gorbutt (Diss CC) 57:30, S Davidson (VeloVelocity) 57:42, J Turner (Norwich ABC) 58:19, A Jardine (Ipswich BC) 59:00, G Frost (VeloVelocity) 59:55, L Gyde (CC Breckland) 1-00:14, D Bamford (ELV) 1-00:18, D Watkins (VeloVelocity) 1-01:54, E Dean (NABC) 1-02:14. Lady: Sally Withey (VC Norwich) 1-09:56

Mud, Sweat & Gears MTB (Ickworth)

Fastest men (6 laps): J Pybus 1-24:27, R Dunnett 1-27:26, C Riley 1-29:12, D Howe 1-32:07 (1st Veteran), R Welch 1-32:43, L Woodcock 1-34:01, (1st Sport), A Cockburn 1-34:35 (1st Master), T Ward 1-35:09, L Lezierski 1-35:16, S Ashby 1-36:05

Fastest women (4 laps): Hollie Bettles 1-16:05, A Buick 1-18:09, H Clayton 1-20:11, V Perkins 1-23:32 (1st W Veteran), M Paddington 1-25:14, A Milligan 1-26:02, A Nichol 1-28:32 (1st W Sport), A Buxton 1-29:04.