Norfolk reliability trial season opener under threat

Sophie Wright ploughs a lone furrow to third spot in the Women’s race at the National Trophy cyclo-c

Sophie Wright ploughs a lone furrow to third spot in the Women’s race at the National Trophy cyclo-cross at Ipswich. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

A long tradition of the East Anglian Cycling Club opening the Norfolk reliability trial season with their 50-mile classic may have come to an end.

Norwich rider Joseph Smith climbs to 17th in the Under 14s at the National Trophy cyclo-cross at Ips

Norwich rider Joseph Smith climbs to 17th in the Under 14s at the National Trophy cyclo-cross at Ipswich. Picture: Fergus Muir . - Credit: Archant

Those who took part in this year's version went from Horsford to Aylsham, Roughton, Melton Constable and Saxthorpe before the return to Horsford Village Hall for refreshments and a splendid social opportunity.

However, although the event was well supported, with 67 riders completing the distance, the EACC have reluctantly announced that they cannot continue organising.

Club chairman Brian Tate said that members were getting old, they wanted to run the event properly, but this was becoming difficult.

'It would be nice if one of the bigger local clubs would take on the job,' said Brian, who is himself 85.

King’s Lynn rider Bethany Barnett heads for 12th in the Under 16s at the National Trophy cyclo-cros

King’s Lynn rider Bethany Barnett heads for 12th in the Under 16s at the National Trophy cyclo-cross at Ipswich. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant


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The event was well-established by 1954 when cycling correspondent Brian Payne was writing, 'though it was pleasant enough from Norwich to Mundesley, a headwind on the coast road to Cromer soon sorted out those who were unfit'.

In the 2018 version it was the Melton Constable-Saxthorpe leg that did the sorting.

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At the National Trophy cyclo-cross in Ipswich, Stephen James (Renvale RT) cheered East Anglian hearts by winning the first race of the day – for Veterans aged 40-49.

James, who is just over 40 but chooses to compete against the 18-39 age group in the Eastern League, started from the fourth row of the grid but worked his way up to a leading group of national stars. He broke away on the last lap and took the flag with none of them in sight.

Stephen James (Renvale RT) at the planks during the National Trophy cyclo-cross at Ipswich. Picture:

Stephen James (Renvale RT) at the planks during the National Trophy cyclo-cross at Ipswich. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

Horsford's Sophie Wright lapped consistently to take third place in the Women's race, but could not quite hold winner Beth Crumpton and Anna Kay, who were in intense competition.

There were notable results in their respective races from Norfolk riders Bethany Barnett (12th), Joseph Smith (17th) Alison Hogg (23rd), Paul Groombridge (26th) and Connor Rumbles (30th).

The East District CA Prize Presentation is to be held on Sunday, January 21 at Carbrooke.

There will be a reliability trial at 10am, food from noon and the EDCA and SPOCO East awards will be presented from 1pm.

Sophie Wright, left, on the women’s podium at the National Trophy cyclo-cross at Ipswich with winner

Sophie Wright, left, on the women’s podium at the National Trophy cyclo-cross at Ipswich with winner Beth Crumpton and Anna Kay. Picture: Fergus Muir - Credit: Archant

Stephen James (Renvale RT) on the Vets 40-49 podium at the National Trophy cyclo-cross at Ipswich wi

Stephen James (Renvale RT) on the Vets 40-49 podium at the National Trophy cyclo-cross at Ipswich with Nick Craig, left, and James Bryan - Credit: Archant

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