Norfolk riders put on a good show in memorial race
Riders from the Norfolk-based Strada Sport road team faced a tough task when National 'A' class road racing came to East Anglia in the form of the Jef Schils Memorial Race at Layer-de-la Haye, near Colchester.
Nevertheless Eastern Road Race League leader Mike Auger (Norwich), Tom Fitzpatrick (Banham), Stuart Pryce (Beccles) and Mark Westrup (Belton) were still there at the finish, though a 29.6mph first lap saw Pete Hargreaves (Blofield) tailed off.
Winner Marcin Bialoblocki (NODE4) took just 3:21:14 to cover the103 miles – most of it not in the shelter of the bunch but in a break with just two other riders, team-mate Pete Williams and Steve Lampier (IG/Sigma).
• Deep in Thetford Forest a new event – a cyclo-cross three hour enduro – saw riders on both cyclo-cross and mountain bikes ride a five mile circuit of fire-road, mown grass track plus a small amount of single-track. Entries came from far afield but relatively few from Norfolk. Best veteran from a Norfolk club was Stephen Dunnett (Diss CC) in 24th place.
• Stephen Dunnett's son Richard – with 18,000 miles in his legs from the Round-the-World race, probably did the time trial ride of the weekend when he recorded 54:48 in the Godric 25 at Bungay.
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• Another Diss CC rider, Steve Gorbutt, was best Norfolk rider in the Stowmarket & District '10' on the Rougham-Woolpit dual carriageway course which never quite seems to live up to expectations.
Gorbutt's time was 21:40 for sixth spot, 38 seconds down on winner Ian Cammish, still winning 32 years after he first topped the British Best All-Rounder competition. Conditions: not much wind for the early starters (Gorbutt was no 15), but an unwelcome rising headwind for the later starters - including Cammish.
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• VC Norwich roadmen James Browne and Dale Johnson continued their run of good form with ninth and tenth places in the Easterly RC's Falling Leaves 50 mile race near Saffron Walden.
There was an early break of two riders, but as often happens in races for third and fourth cat riders, the race came together and the final sort-out was on the killing climb out of Littlebury and over the M11 bridge.