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Mulbarton rider Will Dorsett can't hold on for win in Winter Series race at Thetford Forest

PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 January 2019

Mulbarton rider Will Dorsett (left) in Winter Series Action. Picture: Fergus Muir

Mulbarton rider Will Dorsett (left) in Winter Series Action. Picture: Fergus Muir

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Will Dorsett led out of the last corner at the Winter Series mountain bike racing in Thetford Forest near Brandon.

Laura Sampson , women'’s veteran winner and fastest woman overall. Picture: Fergus MuirLaura Sampson , women'’s veteran winner and fastest woman overall. Picture: Fergus Muir

The Mulbarton rider seemed to have the better of regular rivals Adam French and Ryan Henry in the 90 minute race, but Dorsett’s foot unclipped and Henry seized his chance and took the win.

The three had been together all race and Dorsett had opened a gap by powering up the two long climbs at the end of the lap at the Shakers Road circuit, sometimes referred to as Brandon Park.

Dorsett, French and Henry have now won one round each of the Winter Series with just a final race on Shouldham Warren remaining.

Finishing barely three minutes later Ben Findlay was Veteran’s 90 minute winner, outsprinting Kenninghall rider Chris Hunter in a wheel-to-wheel dash.

The 90 Minute start. Front row, from left, Will Dorsett, Laura Sampson, Kathy Beresford, Elvita Branch, Ben Findlay. Picture: Fergus MuirThe 90 Minute start. Front row, from left, Will Dorsett, Laura Sampson, Kathy Beresford, Elvita Branch, Ben Findlay. Picture: Fergus Muir

Suffolk riders Laura Sampson (40 plus) and Elvita Branch (18-39) were women’s winners in the 90-minute option.

In the three-hour races Richard Jones (Renvale RT) was Senior Men’s winner, initially getting a gap on fellow leaders Andrew Cockburn and Seb Herrod in the singletrack. Cockburn did get back in contact, but a decisive burst from Jones on those climbs got the Renvale rider clear for good.

Paul Ashby was Veteran (40-plus) winner, seven minutes clear of fellow King’s Lynn MTB member James Murphy.

Organisers Thetford Racing joined up many familiar and flowing forest trails with two or three new sectors of singletrack which were soft and loamy under wheel – and thus rather hard work.

However, the 276 competitors will have rolled them nicely by the end of the race, so they represent a good investment for future events.

Conditions were overcast and grey but the trees provided shelter from the wind, except, as luck would have it, for those gallantly helping in the pits, who were exposed to the full blast.

Several Norfolk cyclo-cross riders were in the very large fields at the National Championships at the Gravesend Cyclopark.

Those getting in the top 30 of their categories included Florence Barnett (12th U14), Bethany Barnett (24th U16) and Angus Toms (27th Junior).

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