Norfolk quartet battle the bomb-hole to claim victory at Shouldham Warren
- Credit: Archant
King's Lynn MTB hosted an outstanding series of races on Shouldham Warren that saw wins for Norfolk riders Sophie Wright, Anita Buxton, Paul Ashby and Dougal Toms.
The course had lots of soft loamy single-track, some of it on draggy climbs, and took riders through the main 'bomb-hole' in the shallow entry/steep exit direction.
An additional factor was a strong head/crosswind on the exposed starting straight. There was lots of close racing – on occasion a bit too close. In one, thankfully unusual, case Sean Rayment had a long walk back after his bike ended up in two pieces, held together only by the gear and brake cables.
In the top men's race, new Renvale team member Richard Jones opened a big lead – perhaps unsurprisingly as in 2014 he was ranked 19th in the elite national standings. Local riders' performances that caught the eye included Norwich rider Patrick Stokes taking third in the Grand Vets (50+).
Zac Herrod from Beccles was second in the Juniors, Emily Quantrill (KLMTB) second in Sport Female and Martyn Dunnett (Team CCN) fourth in Sport Male.
It was good to see both Buick sisters back in action in the Elite/Expert Female's race, Imogen taking second behind winner Laura Sampson and Anna fourth in front of local Swaffham rider Melanie Paddington.
Plenty of people were keen to make their mark in the opening race of the Eastern Road Race League, the Crest Road Race, this year on the Thaxted Circuit.
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Strada Sport riders Chris Jackson and Morris Bacon had an epic chase behind an early break, getting within 10 seconds and then finding the gap opening again.
Eventually most of the break came back to the bunch, while Jackson made it to a front group of four. As they approached the finish, Vince Devine (Finchley RT) made the first attack, then Jackson went for it, but finally CC Luton man Mike Jackson came through to take the win.
Meanwhile Bacon, back in the bunch, assumed the role of lead-out man for Strada Sport's sprint expert Martin Ruepp. Blasting into a dead headwind at the finish outside Carver Barracks, Bacon brought Ruepp to the front and the Norfolk-domiciled Swiss duly won the bunch sprint for ninth place.