Yarmouth's Matthews escapes from the pack to claim victory in forest
PUBLISHED: 08:30 27 June 2018
The Velo Club Norwich road races - moved at the last minute to the forest circuit at Croxton - saw wins for Harley Matthews and London-based Australian Nicole Oh.
In the men’s race a strong break of nine, including riders from DAP CC, Strada Sport, St Ives CC and Velo Schils, escaped and never looked back.
Matthews, of Great Yarmouth-based DAP CC, charged across the line to take the win, ahead of Heacham rider Charlie Wright.
The women’s race mostly stayed together, despite the attempts of Cambridge University CC‘s Jess Atkinson, who made several bids to get away on the downhill, downwind leg, but was caught after a do-or-die last-lap break.
Charlie Wright has been knocking on the door labelled Road Race Winners since his second place at Fakenham in March. At Trinity Park, Ipswich, the door opened a crack and the Strada Sport rider seized his win – by two inches – from Liam Manser.
Manser had broken away on the first lap of the senior event on a golden evening of criterium racing. Joined by Wright and realising they shared similar punchy riding styles, the pair committed to stay away for the hour-long race – and made good on this decision.
Rebecca Johnson won the women’s race where Norfolk riders Polly Mason, Sophie Holmes and Cindy Berry were third, fifth and seventh respectively. The supporting men’s event for third and fourth cat competitors saw a comeback win for Lewis Pendle of VC Norwich.
Harley Matthews took the final round of the Lotus evening series at Hethel, from Tom Fitzpatrick and Andrew Taylor (VC Norwich), while Gary Freeman (Fast Test) took the bunch sprint from Charlie Wright.
Continuing the remarkable 2018 run of broken course records, the Godric CC 50 on the Ditchingham-based Waveney valley course saw minutes sliced off both women’s and men’s marks. Matthew Senter (VeloVelocity) lowered his own record to 1:45:59 while Becky Murley’s 2:06:13 replaced Verity Smith’s 2:08:15 as the figure to beat.
Winners of the Iceni Velo 10 on the Besthorpe-Browick and back course were Matt O’Brien (Plomesgate CC, 19:45) and Denise Hurren (Sole Bay Sport, 22:30).