Nino is pick of the bunch in opener
Fergus MuirNino Piccoli opened his time trial season with a clear win in the CC Breckland 10-mile time trial, finishing in 22:02, 61 seconds clear of Paul Davis (St Ives CC) and 1:17 ahead of east district champion James Eman (Anglia Velo).Fergus Muir
Nino Piccoli opened his time trial season with a clear win in the CC Breckland 10-mile time trial, finishing in 22:02, 61 seconds clear of Paul Davis (St Ives CC) and 1:17 ahead of east district champion James Eman (Anglia Velo).
Piccoli, who was brought up near King's Lynn and now lives at Red Lodge, Newmarket, was having his first outing in his own team, sponsored by Norwich cycle shop Pedal Revolution.
Officials of the organising CC Breckland had an exciting morning, for, having arranged a modified course avoiding the most pot-holed roads, they found "stop/go" boards on the revised version and just managed to measure an out-and-back layout on the Hingham-Watton road in time for the 2pm start.
This gave a tailwind outward leg which 24-year-old Piccoli spun down in 53x12 and 53x13, returning mostly in the 15-tooth cog.
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King's Lynn CC took the team prize with Gary Rushmore (23:35), Jason Nixon (24:00) and Martin Long (24:33). Not far behind were the CC Breckland, who were led by Chris Nudds (24:36) who was also best veteran on age standard. Nudds was backed by Adam Cross, best junior, in 24:58 and 12-year-old Declan Davis, best juvenile in 26:37.
Piccoli's TT-Weekly / pedal revolution.com team scored another win the next day when Mark Arnold won the semi-classic Hainault Hilly 50 kilometre sporting time trial in Essex in 1:11:46, more than two minutes clear of the rest of the field.
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Piccoli himself rode the CC Sudbury 10 on the same morning but he suffered in the cold - the temperature was -6C degrees just before the start - and was unexpectedly defeated by Glenn Taylor, who has just moved to the Shorter Rochford Racing Team.
Taylor covered the up-and-down Lavenham- Sudbury course in 23:43, Piccoli in 23:53.
The Crest CC road race provided a tough start to the Eastern Road Race League. There was bright sunshine, but 70 miles in very low temperatures and including eight ascents of a long hill near Saffron Walden, was a difficult proposition for riders uncertain of how their fitness would last.
The field frequently fractured, but came back together as riders hesitated to work at the front of breaks. It was a tough one for the commisaires too, as they had to cope with a rider assisting the winning break after missing eight miles due to a puncture. Their decision was to credit a joint win to Graham Galvin (East London Velo) and Paul Fielding (St Ives CC).
There was a bunch sprint for third place won by Trevor Burke (Finchley RT) from his team-mate Norwich rider Dieter Rowe.
Liam Gentry (VC Baracchi) was in a break, but was undone by another attack on that hill. Simon Asher, now with VC Norwich, was 18th, just ahead of Phil Hetzel (Ipswich BC) who had won two primes (mid-race sprints).
Mike Auger (VC Norwich) cramped up as the pace wound up to the finish, but took 36th spot.