Norfolk mountain bikers win both veteran men’s races in Thetford Forest
Norfolk mountain bikers won both the veteran men's races at the final round of the Whyte Winter Series based at Mayday Meadow in Thetford Forest.
Having been ill and unable to finish the previous round, Andy Manning (Team CCN) was not gridded at the front of the start but put in a big effort to join the leaders in less than a lap and after that no other 40+ rider could live with him. One of his rivals claimed to be doing 26 mph on a fire-road – when Manning came past.
In the four-hour race 46-year-old Paul Ashby (Fat Birds) at first raced in company with 18-39 category leaders Michael Jackson, Richard Jones and Nigel Scott and successfully rejoined after going over the handlebars when a lapped rider prostrated himself before this King of the Forests. Then Stephen James (AW Cycles) overtook and ploughed on alone and Ashby thought he had better chase. However James suddenly quit, not being – by his standards – seriously fit, having been concentrating on work commitments this winter. That left Ashby alone in the four-hour lead and the only rider to complete 11 of the six mile laps. Jackson (CC Luton) won the 18-39s with 10 laps in 4:00:33.
Conditions were spring-like. On the hummocky descents by the Brandon road birdsong competed with the whirr of freewheels. 'Dry, fast and rolling' said Norwich man David Frisby (Iceni Velo) who was second to Manning in the two-hour vets. Katy Simcock (Hope Factory Racing) won the women's two-hour ahead of Iceni Velo's Alex Nichol, with Anita Buxton (Thetford MTB), winner of the previous round, in third. Buxton has come to cycling from quadrathlon – triathlon with added canoeing.
Jason Boutell (Ultimate Fitness) won the men's two-hour just 18 seconds ahead of young Saffron Walden rider Callum Riley, with a quartet of Team CCN riders in the next places – Shaun Aldous, Glenn Stanford, Jason Smith and Darren Evans.
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• Strada-Sport roadmen raced again at Hog Hill, Peter Hargreaves getting in the front break of the senior race and taking 13th place while the team's ambitions to bring on young riders were in evidence in the Lee Valley Youth CC races that started the day. In their debut mass-start races Tommy Power achieved 13th place, Ben Howell 16th and Ed Slater 30th. The next day Power and Slater turned out again, this time with senior team member Nick Esse,r to rider the East Anglian CC 75 mile Reliability Trial – complete with team car and manager's instructions.
In the classic North Road CC Hardriders time trial, Norwich veteran David Staff, now riding for Bury St Edmunds' Velo-Velocity, took 38th place on the testing Hertfordshire lanes course.
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