New Santa Special from CTC Suffolk proves a perfect appetiser

Participants during the Santa Special Audax taken in and around Diss. Picture: Fergus Muir

Participants during the Santa Special Audax taken in and around Diss. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

A new 202km Audax ride on the shortest day of the year helped cyclists work up an appetite for Christmas indulgence.

The Santa Special was a new offering by CTC Suffolk and attracted 37 takers on a day when there was a happy freedom from any fear of ice. However, windspeeds crept up while participants relaxed over lunch in Diss at the start of the longest headwind leg and several were glad to opt out and retreat to railway stations temptingly placed near the route.

There was rumoured to be a front fast group running well ahead of schedule, but approaching Diss just ahead of the control opening time I found most riders were in ones and twos

Amongst them Brian Mann was embarking on his fifth year of qualifying for Audax UK's 'Audax Round the Year' award which involves completing an event of at least 200kms in every month of the year, starting in October.

There was a helpful wind on the final leg before a satisfying arrival at HQ in Great Bromley.

There are a variety of cycling events over the holiday, starting with the East Anglian Cycling Club's Christmas Day time trial starting at Horsford. Distance is 15km, the start is 10.30am and entry is open to any member of a CTT-affiliated club. 'Drinks, eats and Christmas presents at the finish' – I'm told.

Leading contender at CC Breckland's Boxing Day 10 is Mark Fairhead – that's for the fancy dress prize. Challengers should be at Scoulton Village Hall in time for an 11am start.

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