No slip-ups as Robinson claims title
North Suffolk schoolboy Hugo Robinson made himself National Junior Cyclo-Cross Champion with an assured ride on a muddy and slippery course at Derby.
There was a heart-stopping moment when he fell on a hairpin just after breaking away from the rest of the field, but Robinson, who lives in Ashfield-cum-Thorpe, bounced straight up. His gears were knocked out of adjustment, but a slick bike change and quick work by his dad and Nathan Miller in the pits allowed him to keep, and eventually firmly establish, his lead.
After that the XRT/Elmy Cycles rider was never seriously challenged and won by a comfortable 18 seconds.
Belgium-based Helen Wyman, whose family live in Norfolk, had an even larger margin in winning her sixth women's championship – 54 seconds – but it was not such a successful day for the Wymondham family Buick. Anna retired from the women's race, Imogen a first lap faller in the U16 girls, finished ninth, while dad Phil was 19th in the 50-54 Veteran's age-group.
• Time trialists in the East District have their annual prize presentation at Carbrooke Village Hall, near Watton on Sunday, January 30.
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The day starts with a 50 kilometre reliability trial at 10am. A buffet lunch – and this year a bar – will be available from noon and the awards will be presented at 1pm.
• Cyclists will be sorry to hear of the death of Norman Eldridge from Watton.
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The Cycling Club Breckland racing man had been steadily updating the regional age records for 10 miles as he progressed through his ninth decade. In 2006 he lowered the record for age 84 to 30:21. Next year he brought the record for 85 down to 32:37 and last year the records for ages 86 and 87 were set at 34:08. All these, of course, set on out-and-back courses in open competition.
Having raced as a young man, Eldridge, who served in the RAF for 36 years, had many years out of competition, but had an unusual re-introduction. As mayor of Watton, he was asked to present the awards at a CC Breckland Carnival Road Race and ended up joining the club and starting a successful career as a veteran time trialist.
The funeral is on Monday, January 17, 3pm at Earlham Crematorium.
• On a sunny but cold and windy morning there were no less than 98 riders in the East Anglian CC's 50 mile Reliability Trial, split into several groups at the start … and a lot more by the finish.
There was a new Horsford-Roughton-Felbrigg-Holt-Melton Constable-Horsford route, a bit of a slalom negotiating a path around workmen taking down Aylsham's Christmas decorations and a merry crush in Horsford Church rooms afterwards.
One new trend in evidence was illustrated by a group of eight VC Norwich members riding together on single speed road bikes with freewheels – as opposed to the fixed wheel machines that would have formed most of the entry 50 years ago, or the derailleur geared bikes that have dominated the last few decades.