Night in the forest proves tough test

The Dusk-til-Dawn mountain bike race in Thetford Forest fully lived up to it's reputation as a grand test of endurance. Those who were still racing after the 12 hours of drizzle, occasionally varied by light rain, will have memories to last a long time.

There were 1000 riders entered – nearly 200 of them attempting to ride solo throughout the night, the rest in relay teams of two, three or four.

The most laps – 15 – were covered by the four man Fenboy Slackers team of Nigel Scott and Paul, James and Shane Ashby.

A combined King's Lynn CC and Wisbech Wheelers of Steve and Dan Collins, Russell Rout and Matt Bukler were fourth in this category.

City College Norwich put in five riders – and won both the pairs and the teams of three, as well as gaining tough experience for their Sports Therapy students who provided services available to all competitors.

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Under the Team CCN banner Darren Evans and Jason Smith completed 13 laps of the 10.4 mile circuit based at High Lodge in Thetford Forest with just five minutes to go – and had a tense time watching to see if Wymondham-based Salsa Factory Racing would appear in time to start a 14th lap.

They did not, and the win was Team CCN's. Evans – like most competitors – found disc brake pads were wearing away in next-to-no-time as the bikes ploughed through a grinding paste of grit and sand. But he found that speed could be regulated by riding through mud to slow down, or finding grass to speed up.

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Team CCN's Andy Manning, Glenn Stanford and Shaun Aldous were the fastest three-man team with a massive 46 minute margin.

Full results can be seen at

• The Stoke Holy Cross hill climb was won in a record time of 2:13.5 by Will Bamber of Cult Racing ahead of young riders Cameron Toms (Iceni Velo, 2:16.0) and Tony Power (Norwich ABC, 2:26.5).

The previous day Cameron Toms had had an outstanding result in the Basildon Cyclo-Cross where he took third place, seven seconds ahead of Iceni Velo clubmate Matt Thurston.

The new heathland course featured three hills, one as steep as 25 per cent. Winner was another star climber – Andrew Nichols (PCA Ciclos Uno).

• Norwich club Iceni Velo finished a good weekend with a solo win by Tim Guy who broke away from the field early in the criterium at County Hall, Norwich and held on to win alone.

Further afield, Peter Hargreaves (VC Norwich) took fifth place in the Finsbury Park CC road race in Hertfordshire after helping to form what eventually became a successful ten-man break.

• This Sunday CTC Norfolk hold their 25 mile Rough Stuff, an off-road ride along bridleways, tracks, former railway lines and minor roads.

Start is 9am from Cawston Village Hall. Details at

From 6pm the same evening the Iceni Velo are promoting Rollapaluza Roller Racing at the York Tavern, Leicester Street, Norwich. Details for this can be found at

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