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Liam Manser stays on straight and narrow for Fakenham victory

PUBLISHED: 15:35 03 April 2018

Liam Manser (Pedal Power Ipswich) wins the final at the Active Fakenham races. Picture: MIKE HOY

Liam Manser (Pedal Power Ipswich) wins the final at the Active Fakenham races. Picture: MIKE HOY

Archant

There could hardly have been a more exciting climax to the afternoon of bike racing in Fakenham town centre.

The Senior men’s podiumat Fakenham, from left: Charlie Wright, Liam Manser and Buauna Ball. Picture: MIKE HOYThe Senior men’s podiumat Fakenham, from left: Charlie Wright, Liam Manser and Buauna Ball. Picture: MIKE HOY

As the top men charged into the final three tight corners, Liam Manser’s back wheel went sideways and a pile-up seemed inevitable.

But applying skills learnt in mountain biking, the Ipswich lad regained control and took the win ahead of Heacham rider Charlie Wright and last year’s winner Buauna Ball.

Earlier, a mid-race break by Ball and Freddie Checketts looked serious, but Checketts fell on the Oak Street hairpin and Ball dropped back to the chasers.

The women’s race was dominated by riders from outside the region, with Jo Tindley (NJC/Biemme) winning from Lauren Humphreys (Boompods) after a race where team tactics played a part. Top local finisher was Norwich rider Polly Mason (Strada-Sport) in seventh spot.

The senior men’s start at Fakenham with winner Liam Manser in the green helmet. Picture: Fergus MuirThe senior men’s start at Fakenham with winner Liam Manser in the green helmet. Picture: Fergus Muir

Youth riders were desperately unlucky that the heavens unexpectedly opened just as their race started.

However, Norwich rider Joseph Smith (Iceni Velo) put in a determined ride to win the Under 14s, with club-mate Callum Laborde taking fourth, despite suffering badly from the sudden drenching.

Top local girl was Bethany Barnett (King’s Lynn CC), second to Harley Pell in the Under 16s, where Adam Lightfoot (CC Ashwell) was boys’ winner. Under 14 girls winner was Eleanor Peel (Bourne Whs).

Rob Kitchen of Fakenham-based East Coast Riders set the first-lap pace in the Fourth Cat Men’s race, but had to be content with fourth place at the finish. Winner was Spalding CC’s Fraser Wallis.

The women’s field races through Fakenham Market Place. Picture: Fergus MuirThe women’s field races through Fakenham Market Place. Picture: Fergus Muir

The Great Yarmouth CC Good Friday 10 saw a splendid entry of 37 women, with Fran Hall of DAP CC (23:48) winning from Denise Hurren (24:44), and Verity Smith (25:06).

Conditions on the Waveney Valley course were fine, fairly even both ways, but not fast. Jo Fisk (Beccles Tri) was best on Handicap while Nicole Beck (Epic Orange) was fastest Lady Novice.

Winner of the men’s event was Sam Procter, son of the proprietor of the “In a Spin” café/bike shop at Langley Forge near the course. His 21:08 edged out Lowestoft rider Mark Richards by just one second.

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